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Enhanced Mobility Edition

L e a d I n n o v a t e I n t e g r a t e De l i v e r
See accelerates own
page 20
We have to be able to go
anywhere in the world.
Army Chief of Staff
General Raymond T. Odierno
Legendary physicist Niels Bohr said, Prediction is
very difficult, especially if its about the future.
Even though we cant predict where in the world
our military forces may be sent to respond to a cri-
sis and the changing fiscal landscape has the
potential to affect ongoing research and develop-
ment these things are certain: If we intend to
develop superior technology for future forces, we
must start today, and our collaborative partners
need to leverage each others skills, resources and
knowledge bases to deliver advanced technology
more quickly and efficiently.
TARDEC teams have devoted tremendous amounts
of time, effort and intelligence to mapping out a plan
for the future a 30-Year Strategy. In alignment
with the Armys overall 30-year acquisition strategy,
the plan serves to guide our priorities and creates a
reference for collaboration an opportunity to syn-
chronize our technical discussion with each other,
our PEO counterparts, industry and academia.
This initiative involves more than just reassigning
tasks our goal is to implement a cultural shift
that fosters innovation, best practices and excellent
performance. This may seem a bit ambitious in this
period of declining resources, but were looking at
capabilities with enduring value and relevance for
the Soldiers of 2040 and beyond.
Were making the strategic pivot to steer research
and development in a new direction. That means
we dump the bolt-on approach (which was nec-
essary in a rapid-response environment) in favor of
integrated, platform-level solutions designed to fit
open architectures. Rather than focusing on single
components with near-term applications, well
enable designed-in adaptability and integrated
solutions with current programs of record.
To achieve our goals, well need partners more than
ever. We also need to follow a few basic principles:
Get out of our own way. We have to overcome obsta-
cles to elevate our performance, unleash our poten-
tial and relay knowledge across technical focus areas.
Conduct purposeful engagement with industry
and academia. We must maximize partnering
opportunities to achieve significant technological
breakthroughs during challenging, budget-con-
strained times.
Purposeful investment in human capital, labora-
tories, and modeling and simulation proficiency.
The Army is investing in new facilities here, such as
a new Vehicle Characterization Laboratory and the
Vehicle Electronics Architecture Systems
Integration Technology Hangar. Assets like these,
added to our Ground Systems Power and Energy
Laboratory, give us a one-of-a-kind collection of
world-class research and test facilities.
Although we are in the initial stages of development,
our efforts are already bearing fruit. TARDEC is mov-
ing forward to develop a worldwide deployable,
operationally mobile, survivable ground vehicle
capability and is prepared to provide solutions to the
challenges set by the Chief of Staff of the Army to
decrease the logistics burden and increase opera-
tional effectiveness of ground systems. Additional
value is seen beyond what we can quantify today.
It includes increased communication, increased
efficiencies, leveraged internal capabilities and
purposefully engaged partners.
We dont know what the future has in store for us.
But we have a powerful vision to guide our journey.
Well proceed with the knowledge that the nation
needs the Army to respond anywhere on the globe
with tailorable vehicles that can adjust to emerging
threats and unpredictable environments.
Paul D. Rogers, Ph.D., SES
TARDEC Director
The 30-Year Strategy
and How We Get There
On the Cover: The quote from Army Chief of Staff
GEN Raymond Odierno expresses this issues theme
concisely. To remain the best military in the world,
U.S. forces must heighten our advantage in mobility.
TARDEC has dedicated itself to developing
technology that makes that goal achievable.
Michael I. Roddin
Enhanced Mobility Edition
L e a d I n n o v a t e I n t e g r a t e De l i v e r
20 Listening to the Warfighter
A panel of experienced warfighters share
their views on where ground vehicle
development should go from here
28 Soldier Innovation Workshop
Soldiers, engineers and college design
students create visions of tomorrow
30 Working With Energy
The Army and Department of Energy find
mutual technical interests with potential
long-term value
4 Exploring Future Mobility
How future vehicles will maneuver with
supreme agility
8 Burst of Power
Pursuing Advanced Propulsion for Onboard
Power a leap in electric power generation
Kimberly Cobb
12 Combat Ready
PEO Ground Combat Systems moves forward
with vital modernization efforts
Bill Good
16 Energy Intelligence
Academic partners could improve unmanned
vehicles capacity to complete missions
Dr. Tulga Ersal
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Please send address changes to: U.S. Army TARDEC, 6501 E. 11 Mile Road, Bldg. 200A,
RDTA-ST, Mail Stop #206, Warren, MI, 48397-5000.
20 30 16
8 12
34 Wireless Recharging
Engineers study wireless power transfer in
the field, which could increase safety and
ease burdens
Dr. M. Abul Masrur
38 Blast Test Hub
The military turns to Occupant Protection
Lab at Selfridge ANGB to reduce injuries
TSgt. Dan Heaton
40 CRADA Celebration
VIP event spotlights impact of research
agreements with partners
42 All-American Bowl
Showcasing Army technologies and capabilities
for students
Amanda Dunford
44 rpm Info in Brief
TARDECs 30-Year Strategy, repurposing video
game technology and improving HMMWV
47 Ask the Expert
Explaining how changes in mobility research
can lead to best possible off-road systems
Dave Gunter
48 Five Things you should know about the
Palladin Self-Propelled Howitzer
Dr. Paul Rogers
TARDEC Director
Magid Athnasios
Executive Director
Systems Integration
& Engineering
Jennifer Hitchcock
Executive Director
Research, Technology & Integration
Dr. David Gorsich
TARDEC Chief Scientist
David Thomas
Associate Director
National Automotive Center
Dave Taylor
Chief of Staff
Derhun Sanders
Deputy Chief of Staff
for G2/3/5 (Security, Operations,
Communications & Outreach
Michael I. Roddin
Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G5
Communications & Outreach
Dr. Tulga Ersal
Research Scientist
University of Michigan
Dr. M. Abul Masrur
TARDEC Researcher
William Good
Public Affairs Office
PEO Ground Combat Systems
TSgt. Dan Heaton
127th Wing Public Affairs Office
Selfridge Air National Guard Base
Kimberly Cobb
Editorial Support
Ground Vehicle Power and Mobility
Michael I. Roddin
Jerry Aliotta
Managing Editor
Dan Desmond
Senior Editor /Writer
Brian Ferencz
Art Director
Rachel Ferhadson
Project Manager
Matt December
34 38
40 42
Crystal balls, Nostradamus and time machines aside, pre-
dicting the future is, well, nearly impossible and the results
are often terribly unreliable and impractical. Unless of course
you develop specific criteria as one scientist has related in an
article published by the International Herald Tribune.
Theoretical Physics Professor Dr. Michio Kaku, City Col-
lege of New York, states, ... the laws of physics must be
obeyed and prototypes must exist that demonstrate proof of
principle. Ive interviewed more than 300 of the worlds top
scientists, and many allowed me into laboratories where they
are inventing the future. Their accomplishments and dreams
are eye-opening. His bottom-line assessment science will
continue to be the engine of prosperity.
TARDECs scientists and researchers, in close collabo-
ration with Program Executive Office (PEO) Ground Combat
Systems (GCS) and PEO Combat Support & Combat Service
Support, and other key industry and academia partners, are in-
venting the future to predict what ground vehicle mobility will
hold for Soldiers 30 years from now. A daunting task to say the
least. Answers to the research questions being posed by this
network of engineers cannot be reliably addressed through
traditional straight-line trend analysis or current modeling and
simulations algorithms. These approaches, though logical, are
lacking because the data and information to support long-term
research and development are uncertain at best, by design are
incomplete, are continually evolving and are highly susceptible
to emerging technology implosions and subsequent threats
from hostile entities that have yet to be identified. So what
does the future of ground mobility look like?
This special mobility edition shows how our engineers are
applying scientific techniques to create unique opportunities
and risk assessments to address highly complex, long-term
issues that will most certainly impact ground vehicle mobil-
ity in 2040 and beyond. As they look ahead, multiple mobility
options emerge as strong concept contenders, from todays
state-of-the-art to tomorrows art-of-the-possible. Join us for
a cursory look at how our engineers and scientists are identi-
fying plausible future ground vehicle system capabilities and
potentiality, leading to alternative mobility futures and a host
of potential breakthrough technologies for advanced Soldier
mobility systems.
Groundbreaking advancements in maneuverability are
significant goals driving TARDECs 30-Year Strategy. Our lead
article features the Mobility Demonstrator, a key Innovation
Project that combined a diverse team of engineers charged
with thinking into the future and examining how vehicles will
maneuver decades from now.
Our forward-looking partners at PEO GCS discuss how
12 years of combat experience have informed them how to
make dramatic technology advancements that will modernize
the Abrams Main Battle Tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle and
Stryker Vehicle fleets to provide optimum support on a digi-
tized battlefield to Armored Brigade Combat Team formations.
Exploring the relational possibilities for managing energy
intelligence in unmanned vehicles, Dr. Tulga Ersal, Assistant
Research Scientist at the University of Michigan and Center
Research Integration Lead at the Automotive Research Cen-
ter, is collaborating with TARDEC engineers on an energy
intelligence system that allows a robot to self-determine its
internal operating state based on external environmental
conditions that impact its mission. The potential for applying
this research to future military operational mobility capabili-
ties is endless.
Further, former Ford Motor Co. scientific lab researcher
and current Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Fellow, TARDEC Research Engineer Dr. M. Abul Masrur
explores the possible uses and challenges associated with
wireless power transfer technology. Find out how Integrat-
ing recharge capabilities using wirelessly transferred power
from source-to-load could significantly improve dismounted
Soldier operations in remote locations.
Combine a group of seasoned TARDEC engineers, com-
bat-experienced Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division
and innovative industrial design students from the College
for Creative Studies, and you have the catalyst for something
magical. These diverse participants explored the conceptual
requirements for an Early Entry Combat Vehicle capability for
the Army during Soldier Innovation Workshop III held ear-
lier this fiscal year. The group explored the concepts for po-
tential vehicle interiors, suspension systems, hulls, weapon
systems and turrets, vision systems and a variety of vehicle
packages, among other mobility enhancements.
An absolute must read, TARDEC Soldiers provided the
editorial team frank, uncensored and analytical feedback
during a Warfighter Panel about how technology can best
support future combat operations. Their comments and dis-
cussions relating to battlefield mobility might just surprise
you. Based on their collective experiences as warfighters and
logisticians serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan during the
last 12 years, their experience from multiple deployments to
theater in both urban and rural environments can help Army
planners better understand how vehicle systems must re-
spond to countless hostile scenarios and battle conditions.
Last, but certainly not least, TARDEC Engineer David
Gunter explains how mobility research is changing the face
of systems engineering integration, and how TARDEC re-
searchers are advancing the art-of-the-possible to improve
off-road mobility for all ground vehicle systems.
I leave you with this thought. Internationally acclaimed
computer scientist Alan Kay sums up technology predic-
tions, saying: Dont worry about what anybody else is going
to do The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Really smart people with reasonable funding can do just
about anything that doesnt violate too many of Newtons
Laws! And that, my friends, is exactly what the Armys
ground vehicle community is doing inventing the future
of mobility!
Dont Predict the Future, Invent it!
Michael I. Roddin
Groundbreaking advancements in vehicle mobility play a significant part in
TARDECs 30-Year Strategy. Innovation and forward thinking will play an
essential role in examining how vehicles will maneuver with supreme agility
in the decades to come.
By accelerate Staff
s the ground vehicle com-
munity develops future sys-
tems in coordination with
the Armys 30-Year Strategy, U.S.
Army Tank Automotive Research
Development and Engineering
Center (TARDEC) associates are
exploring the realm of the possible
with future mobility systems.
TARDEC engineers and planners
are playing a central role in the
wide-ranging endeavor to innovate
and rethink the notion of mobility,
escalating it to new levels of adapt-
ability in any operational environ-
ment. The concept process started
with a TARDEC Innovation Project
called the Mobility Demonstrator,
and some of those ideas have spun
into two other key projects the
Capabilities Demonstration 1 project
(guided by the 30-Year Strategy), and
the Ground eXperimental Vehicle
(GXV) project TARDEC is work-
ing on with the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
One of the guiding principles in
the TARDEC 30-Year Strategy is
developing ground vehicle capabili-
ties that will fundamentally change
the way Soldiers accomplish mis-
sions and provide enduring value
for the Army of 2025 and beyond,
explained Dr. David Gorsich,
TARDEC Chief Scientist. Future
mobility systems have to be f lexible,
adaptable, agile and deployable in all
When TARDEC Director Dr. Paul
Rogers kicked off the Mobility
Demonstrator one of the first
advanced mobility projects he
prepped the engineering team with
a simple but liberating message to
spark their creativity: Challenge the
existing paradigm.
This effort challenged our engi-
neers to think differently about
future combat vehicle design, stated
Mike Blain, the Ground Vehicle
Power and Mobility (GVPM) Deputy
Associate Director.
That was December 2012, when
TARDEC explored a variety of
future mobility concepts that offered
modularity, advanced drive trains
and component commonality.
GVPM engineers took a non-tra-
ditional path, performing subsys-
tem-by-subsystem evaluations as
they delved into the art-of-the-
possible. They looked at systems
such as common chassis, wheels-
to-tracks transformation systems,
high-power-dense engines, advanced
suspension systems, electrified pro-
pulsion systems, advanced energy
storage systems and advanced ther-
mal management systems.
We started talking about: What is
the art-of-the-possible for a future
mobility platform that is about 40
tons in weight and component com-
monality is the primary driver for
the design? Blain recalled.
As the team began work on concept
evaluations, they received early
design assistance from TARDECs
Soldier Innovation Workshops.
TARDEC has held three of these
workshops since December 2012
that combine engineers, active-
duty Soldiers and transportation
design students from the College for
Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit.
As students sketched future con-
cepts, engineers began to visualize
the feasibility of their ideas. We
created 145 concepts and ideations
in three days, Blain explained. Not
all were possible, but others made us
think, You might have something
In addition, TARDEC is sponsor-
ing a CCS transportation design
class project to design an Extremely
Drawing by James Scott
Multi-modal Mobility vehicle for
the future. This project focuses on
capability demonstrations from the
30-Year Strategy that will inform
expeditionary and optionally
manned capabilities in urban and
cross-country environments. The
process will help shape requirements
by capturing user input to influence
TARDECs research, engineering and
concepting efforts.
The idea factory re-imagining
mobility has evolved into bona fide
research initiatives, including the
Capability Demonstration 1 project
and efforts with DARPA on GXV
The GXV project has initiated sev-
eral seedling evaluations involving
other groups exploring the technical
feasibility of advanced and in
some cases, radical mobility con-
cepts and performance assessments
for a smaller, lighter, more agile vehi-
cle that could move over previously
inaccessible terrain.
Operational forces have been
limited in mobility due to the ter-
rain they encounter, and TARDEC
is helping to research how GXV
could travel over different kinds
of terrain, explained Paul Decker,
Deputy Program Manager for
DARPA GXV and Adaptive Vehicle
Make (AVM). Theyve also looked
at the traditional trade space and
expanded research into whats pos-
sible. TARDEC is playing a key role
in determining what future mobility
and performance in military vehicles
will mean.
Virtual tools and techniques are
already prevalent in these analyses.
TACOMs Cost and Systems Analysis
Group has looked at operational
vignettes, and computer-aided
design (CAD) models enabling
physics-based assessments allow
researchers to test scenarios that a
GXV may encounter.
TARDEC intends to continue work-
ing with DARPA to ensure GXV
moves forward as a program.
The Mobility Demonstrator team
looked into future art-of-the-pos-
sible mobility-related sub-system
technologies. Engineers investigated
future technologies such as advanced
suspension systems, wheels-to-tracks
transformation systems, advanced
power packs, novel thermal manage-
ment systems, next generation power
electronics and advanced energy
storage systems. They looked for
ways to overcome the primary lim-
itation of high-speed travel over the
The bottom line is
that this program has
really challenged us to
think outside the box and
look to the future.
Mike Blain
GVPM Deputy Associate
Drawing by James Scott
ground its more challenging than
travel through the air because of the
terrains non-uniformity. Advanced
suspension systems that react to the
changing terrain conditions with
preview-sensing technology would
permit greater cross-country speeds.
Currently, our suspension systems
jounce and rebound based on an
impact, Blain commented. You
hit a bump and then the suspen-
sion reacts. If the vehicle could see
ahead, it could react to obstructions
prior to impact.
Another challenge for off-road travel
is ground pressure. Vehicles with low
ground pressure have the capability to
traverse softer soils. One potential solu-
tion is a wheels-to-tracks transforma-
tion prototype technology, which can
morph the circular wheel into an oblong
track shape. This conversion would
create lower ground pressure, allowing a
vehicle to be less road-bound and travel
off-road across softer soils.
Next, the team explored what ad-
vanced power packs may be needed
to power vehicles in 30 years. We
want our future engines to be much
more power dense and consume less
fuel, explained Blain. To get the
power density we desire, potentially
a completely new engine configura-
tion may be required.
Their objective is effective genera-
tion of power, minimizing or elim-
inating losses through inefficient
devices or waste as heat. Future
mobility will also most likely be
highly electrified for greater control,
efficiencies and capabilities, and re-
quire highly efficient transmissions
and novel thermal management sys-
tems. The team envisions high-volt-
age electrification for propulsion,
weapon and defensive systems, but
low voltage inside the crew compart-
ment for safety.
TARDEC is already developing
intelligent control for electrified
propulsion systems that offer other
benefits, such as exportable power
sharing, silent mobility and potential
fuel economy though the intelli-
gent on-off control of devices that
continually draw power from the
engine. The bottom line is that this
program has really challenged us to
think outside the box and look to the
future and plan for the next steps,
Blain summarized.
Wherever these concepts and ideas
lead, were at the dawn of a new era
in mobility. As Rogers has pointed
out on several occasions, TARDEC
has an opportunity to help the Army
change the equation for the next
generation of warfighters and funda-
mentally transform the way we fight.
Mobility is a core capability that will
help the Army resolve challenges
commonly encountered by land
forces and achieve overwhelming
Concept from Soldier
Innovation Workshop
The never-ending quest for more electrical power to support troops
and their missions poses significant challenges to ground vehicle
designers. TARDEC engineers are pursuing a solution called
Advanced Propulsion for Onboard Power, which represents a leap
ahead in electric power generation.
By Kimberly Cobb
ncreased consumer demand and
dependence on electronic devices
has spiked exponentially in recent
years, but is nothing compared to the
explosive demand for state-of-the-art
technology on the battlefield. Nearly
all warfighter improvements, regard-
less of how incremental, require
increased power to provide Soldiers
and Marines the most advanced tech-
nologies available.
Historically, the solution set for pow-
ering new capabilities was developing
more powerful traditional alter-
nators. Over the past decade, U.S.
Army Tank Automotive Research
Development and Engineering
Center (TARDEC) subject-matter
experts (SMEs) have worked tirelessly
to increase alternator technology
from the 10-20 kilowatt (kW) range
up to 25-30 kW. Although 25-30 kW
alternators are now available and are
the short-term vehicle Engineering
Change Proposal requirement, SMEs
predict that soon even this pow-
er-generation capability will not be
enough to meet long-term military
Researchers and engineers are ada-
mant that the military needs new
solutions that provide significantly
increased electrical power for future
vehicle platforms. Accordingly,
TARDEC engineers are research-
ing high-voltage inline generators
under the Advanced Propulsion with
Onboard Power (APOP) project.
APOP integrates technology engi-
neers believe will generate up to 160
kW of power. This new integrated
starter-generator (ISG) technology
sits on the drive line between the
engine and transmission and is
used for power generation, to start
the vehicles engine and to boost
We can get by with traditional
alternators today and with higher
power alternators in the short term,
said TARDEC Electrical Engineer
Kevin Boice, Ground Vehicle Power
and Mobility (GVPM) Advanced
Propulsion Team, Principal
Investigator for the APOP project.
But that technology can only go so
far. Traditional alternators pose sev-
eral problems they become diffi-
cult to cool at high power levels, and
they do not scale to meet the require-
ments we will have in the future. To
address these issues, we are develop-
ing alternative methods, through the
APOP project, to generate the much
higher levels of power that will be
required, Boice explained.
APOP technology provides signif-
icant benefits, because the huge
increase in power generation will
handle future Command, Con-
trol, Communications, Comput-
ers, Intelligence, Surveillance and
Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems.
These technological advances will
also help integrate advanced elec-
trified armor and energy weapon
technologies. APOP technology will
operate large vehicle auxiliary loads
more efficiently by increasing the
control of cooling fans and air con-
ditioning systems. Power can also be
exported from the vehicle to support
basing operations. This focus opti-
mizes controls and efficiency, and
enhances vehicle mobility.
A multi-year project, APOP will
be completed in phases. During
Phase 1, the APOP goal is to gen-
erate additional power to support
new vehicle systems and capabil-
ities. Researchers are standing up
a Systems Integration Lab (SIL) in
TARDECs Propulsion Laboratory
to develop advanced controls for
the technology. Once accomplished,
engineers will integrate the system
into a vehicle demonstrator and
evaluate it in TARDECs Power
and Energy Vehicle Environmental
Laboratory, located in the Detroit
Arsenal Ground Systems Power and
Energy Laboratory.
During later phases, GVPM
engineers will collaborate with
TARDECs Vehicle Electronics
Architecture team to develop com-
mon architectures with reduced
space claims and weight require-
ments for Onboard Vehicle Power
(OBVP) generation for integration
into future platforms. Ultimately,
this systems integration will reduce
electrical box size and cooling
requirements over the vehicles life
cycle. APOP will provide signifi-
cantly more power without increas-
ing weight or affecting available
vehicle space.
Opposite page: TARDEC Engineer Kevin Boice (left) works with Engineering Technician Gordy Hopper to prepare the
Advanced Propulsion for Onboard Power system for another round of evaluations in the Motor/Generator Test
Laboratory. (U.S. Army TARDEC photos.)
We can get by with
traditional alternators
today and with higher
power alternators in
the short term. But that
technology can only go so
far. We are developing
alternative methods,
through the APOP project,
to generate the much
higher levels of power that
will be required.
Kevin Boice
APOP Principal
GVPM Advanced
Propulsion Team
To prove the technologys viabil-
ity, the APOP team will integrate
and test High-Voltage Onboard
Generators on two vehicles the
Stryker and the Bradley Fighting
Vehicle (BFV).
Following reliability testing, APOP
will increase efficiency through
lower fuel consumption, enhanced
mobility, enabled power export and
capacity for future capability growth.
Specifically, APOP will:
Provide at least five times the
generation capability of current
combat vehicles with minimum
integration impact.
Improve operational energy effi-
ciency and mobility gains.
Make electrified systems avail-
able when the engine is off.
Become a core technology to
enable future grid connectivity.
Increase TARDEC in-house capa-
bility to test and evaluate OBVP
technologies at the component and
SIL levels.
We will be developing two different
demonstrators to support the APOP
project, said Boice. First, we will inte-
grate the 120 kilowatt [kW] architecture
into the Stryker Demonstrator vehicle
in FY 2015, and then well move on
to the Bradley in FY 2016 where well
demonstrate the 160 kW capabilities in
the vehicle in 2018.
Future project research and devel-
opment includes additional uses for
OBVP, such as:
Intelligent Stop/Start: this tech-
nology automatically shuts down
and restarts the internal combus-
tion engine to reduce the amount
of time the engine spends idling,
thereby reducing fuel consump-
tion and thermal emissions.
Burst Power: this technology
complements engine horsepower
using the ISG to motor and
launch the vehicle.
Regenerative Braking: this tech-
nology recoups some energy loss
while the vehicle is stopping. This
technology is used on hybrid
vehicles that use both gas and
electricity as sources of power.
Recouped energy during braking
is saved in a storage battery and
used later to power the motor
whenever the vehicle is using its
electric power source.
Once these technologies are fully
developed and tested, demand
for them is expected to continue
increasing as new potential uses are
identified for OBVP, including using
it to provide vehicle-to-grid power
generation to power a base camp.
Further developing this APOP capa-
bility will support the Armys mis-
sion to reduce its logistics footprint
and provide Soldiers and Marines
a renewable energy source while
operating in remote locations. Other
potential uses are boundless and
encompass basically any new compo-
nent that can be put on an electrical
bus, including electric armor or
energy weapons.
Boice explains how researchers monitor the APOP systems performance
from another room near the test lab, allowing them to view the device on one
screen and data on other screens.
We will be
developing two different
demonstrators to support
the APOP project. First,
we will integrate the 120
kW architecture into the
Stryker in FY 2015, and
then well move on to the
Bradley in FY 2016, where
well demonstrate the
160 kW capabilities in the
vehicle in 2018.
Kevin Boice
APOP Principal
GVPM Advanced
Propulsion Team
Editors Note: TARDEC Electrical Engineer and Principal APOP Project Investigator Kevin Boice, Ground Vehicle Power and
Mobility (GVPM) Advanced Propulsion Team, contributed his insight and expertise to this article.
To demonstrate APOPs viability, the team plans to integrate and test High-Voltage Onboard Generators on a Stryker test
vehicle. (U.S. Army photo by SFC Alan B. Owens.)
Advanced Propulsion for Onboard Power (APOP) system provides Onboard Vehicle
Power. Integration of the APOP system in a vehicle brings the following benefits:
} Electrical power to supply Current and Future Forces
Provides power for existing C4ISR systems and Soldier equipment
Enables advanced countermeasures, electrified armor and energy weapons
Exports power to grid for contingency basing operations.
} Optimizes fuel efficiency
Generates power efficiently
Saves fuel while idling
Fully controls vehicle auxiliary loads
APOP Advantages
PEO Ground Combat Systems moving
forward with modernization changes to
Abrams, Bradley and Stryker.
By Bill Good, PEO GCS,
Public Affairs
ver the course of the last 12
years of ongoing combat
operations, the Army has
made dramatic improvements to all
their combat platforms in terms of
survivability and with a whole host
of advancements as it continues
to move towards a more digitized
Unfortunately, through the course of
all of those changes, our platforms
have become heavier, less mobile and
transportable, and are reaching their
limits in terms of automotive capac-
ity and power generation to support
the vast array of digital systems that
are now such an integral part of our
combat formations.
As we take a look at the main
investments in the ground combat
vehicle portfolio that are planned
in the next few years, a major por-
tion of those efforts are focused
on restoring the automotive per-
formance that has eroded as the
Army added protection to their
vehicles, and upgrading those sys-
tems to allow for enough margin
for future programs of record to be
Every vehicle is designed to have
space, weight and power (SWaP)
margins for incremental improve-
ments to be made. However, recent
upgrades to the Abrams and Bradley
Fighting Vehicle (BFV) platforms
have sapped this margin and left
little room for future improvements.
To help alleviate these SWaP con-
straints, the Army has launched
Engineering Change Proposal (ECP)
programs designed to buy back as
much margin as possible by rede-
signing and modernizing many ele-
ments of these platforms.
ECPs modify a system without
changing the essential capability.
That means the Abrams and Bradley
will still maintain their classic
appearance, but under the hood will
be a different matter.
The Abrams ECP program will help
ensure the Army can seamlessly
incorporate other programs of
record (PORs) into the Abrams well
into the future without degrading
operational performance.
The centerpiece of the Abrams ECP
upgrade will be restoring the power
margin through the integration of a
larger generator, improved slip ring,
battery management system and the
new power generation and distri-
bution system. The ECP program is
Tank crew members from the Desert Rogues, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, circle their
M1A2SEP Abrams tank in preparation for their qualification attempt during the Gunnery Table VI event at Fort Stewart,
GA. The Army uses this event to certify that crews are combat ready and proficient at operating and maneuvering their
tank and its weapon systems. (U.S. Army photo by SGT Richard Wrigley.)
set to posture the tank to accept the
Army network components in the
near term, while building the neces-
sary margin to accept future capa-
bilities in the decades to come.
Other major Abrams ECP upgrades
will focus on communications, data
transmission and processing, and
survivability. The communications
upgrade will integrate the Joint
Tactical Radio System (JTRS) and
Handheld, Manpack, & Small Form
Fit (HMS), replacing the current sin-
gle-channel ground and airborne radio
system (SINCGARS). Initial Abrams
ECP production is slated to begin at the
Joint Services Manufacturing Center in
Lima, OH, in 2017.
Like the Abrams tank, the BFVs
space, weight and power plus cooling
(SWaP-C) limits have been reached
within its current configuration.
To ensure the vehicle can enable
the Armys network investment and
incorporate other Army PORs with-
out further degrading operational
performance, engineers will make
basic improvements as part of the
upcoming Bradley ECP program.
The current Army plan breaks the
Bradley ECP changes into two iter-
ations. ECP 1 is designed to address
weight with early delivery of mature
products. It includes four capabilities:
Extended life track.
Heavyweight track designed to
handle larger vehicle weights.
Heavyweight torsion bars that
restore ground clearance lost
to increased weight, improving
cross-country mobility and under-
belly blast protection.
Improved durability road arms
and shock absorbers designed to
reduce operating costs and main-
tenance intervals at increased
vehicle weights.
ECP 2 focuses on meeting electric
power generation and computing
requirements for network systems.
ECP 2 will include an upgraded gen-
erator and power distribution system,
but will also require an engine and
transmission modification to ensure
Soldiers will not lose automotive
capability while powering network
Computing and data handling capa-
bility will also factor heavily into
the ECP effort. The Bradleys digital
bus architecture will be improved
by incorporating common intel-
ligent displays, an improved slip
ring, improved Ethernet switch and
VICTORY computing architec-
ture standards all of which will
U.S. Army Soldier from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, pulls security next to an M2 Bradley
Fighting Vehicle during Decisive Action rotation 13-03, at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. (U.S. Army photo
by SGT Eric M. Garland II.)
contribute to the integration and
handling of the large volumes of
data the new Army network systems
GCS plans to apply both ECPs to 10
brigades. Some ECP 1 components
are projected to be delivered to the
field during fiscal years 2014 through
2018, depending on future defense
budgets. ECP 2 began the engineer-
ing design phase in FY 2013, and is
scheduled for initial fielding in FY
The Army is working on extensive
upgrades of both the Stryker Flat
Bottom Hull (FBH) and Double-V
Hull (DVH) variants through an
ECP program. The Stryker ECP
programs goal is to address current
SWaP-C-related deficiencies within
the platform and lay the founda-
tion for success of future platform
The Stryker ECP program is
designed to give us the best of both
worlds the improved survivabil-
ity and mobility that came with the
DVH design, while buying back
some of the lost automotive perfor-
mance due to increased weight and
electrical demand on the alterna-
tor, explained David Dopp, Project
Manager for the SBCT.
The Army currently fields Strykers
with two different hull structures
the traditional FBH and the improved
DVH. That means that the ECP pro-
gram has to account for two types of
vehicles that look very different under
the hood. All Stryker FBH and DVH
variants will receive in-vehicle net-
work and electrical power upgrades.
DVH Strykers will also receive a
new engine and suspension, which
will allow the platform to buy back
significant power and mobility.
This change will also mitigate the
mechanical power gap associated with
weight and parasitic electrical load
growth experienced over time. The
new chassis, suspension and tires are
optimized to match the new engine
and significantly increase the vehicles
mobility. Stryker ECP upgrades are
scheduled to begin in late FY17.
Bill Good is a public affairs spe-
cialist for Program Executive
Office Ground Combat Systems.
He holds a BAS in Broadcasting
from Siena Heights University
and an MA in Public Relations
and Organizational Communica-
tion from Wayne State University.
An M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle delivers cavalry scout contestants to the range
to perform live small arms fire at night while competing in the Gainey Cup
Competition at Fort Benning, GA. (Photo by Marvin Lynchard.)
Soldiers dismount from a Stryker, which will receive upgrades including
a new engine and suspension. These key engineering changes allow the
platform to buy back significant power and mobility. (U.S. Army photo
courtesy of PEO GCS.)
Energy Intelligence
Robot energy intelligence can improve an unmanned vehicles capacity
to complete a mission. An Automotive Research Center team studied
an energy intelligence system that allows a robot to determine its
internal operating state and the external environmental conditions
that could disrupt its travel.
By Dr. Tulga Ersal
U-M Assistant Research
Scientist Jason Siegel
consults with Prof. Anna
obility is the main purpose
and the Achilles heel of any
ground robotic platform.
The Automotive Research Center
(ARC) focused one of its case studies
this past year on the challenge of
enhancing mobility by giving robots
energy intelligence.
Led by the University of Michigan
(U-M), the ARC is the Armys Center
of Excellence (CoE) for ground vehi-
cle modeling and simulation (M&S)
sponsored by TARDEC. The ARCs
basic research portfolio spans a wide
range: from vehicle dynamics to
human-centric design to vehicle sys-
tem optimization and to advanced
materials, structures and power-
trains. Each year, case studies from
several projects are shared among
researchers to foster synergy and
reap benefits far beyond what a single
project could contribute.
Because robot mobility is limited by
the amount of energy that can be car-
ried onboard, one of the key
components for enhancing mobility
is to intelligently use their energy.
For a robot to determine if it has
enough energy to complete a certain
task or mission, it must be aware of
both its current internal operating
state and also the state of the external
environment that encompasses the
mission at hand, including the effects
of the specific terramechanics of the
path, the ambient temperature and
the thermal operating constraints of
its batteries. The combination of this
information provides the energy
intelligence ARC researchers have
demonstrated in this case study.
To optimize robotic mobility, energy
intelligence must be embedded into
every step from planning through mis-
sion execution. If the robot is given a
search mission, such as covering a
given area to search for hazardous
objects, there are many different algo-
rithms that could be utilized to deter-
mine how the robot should cover the
area. ARC researchers are the first to
introduce robotic energy intelligence
into the planning of the mission.
The algorithms they use can be
incorporated into any path planning
algorithm to determine both the
shape of the path, and the velocity
profiles that will reduce energy con-
sumption based upon what is known
about the terramechanics of the mis-
sion. This reduces the energy spent
per distance travelled and extends
the robots mission duration. Our
algorithms allow robots to accom-
plish their missions in the most ener-
gy-efficient way possible, stated
U-M Prof. Dawn Tilbury.
Terramechanics is the study of land
locomotion, which is particularly
important with off-road vehicles.
Physical properties of the terrain
especially the strength and deforma-
tion of the soil greatly affect a
vehicles mobility. A robots energy
intelligence can be further boosted
by incorporating physics-based
U-M research
students John
Broderick (left) and
Steve Vozar test
robot capabilities
using an energy
mathematical models of its interac-
tions with the terrain.
According to U-M Prof. Huei Peng,
Propulsion power is a large percent-
age of the total power consumption
of robots, and it is possible for a robot
to completely lose mobility on soft
terrain. Understanding through terr-
amechanics how the robot will per-
form on a specific terrain is a critical
element of energy intelligence.
Another element that affects a robots
performance is the amount of energy
required for turning, which can be as
much as 14 times what is used for
straight driving. Understanding this
concept and leveraging it properly
can mean the difference between the
robot completing a mission success-
fully or running out of energy. Prof.
Pengs group has developed validated
models that capture how different
soil types, turning radii, robot speeds
and robot design parameters affect
mobility energy requirements. His
team is also working to make the com-
putations run efficiently as real-time
applications that will help predict the
amount of energy required, and to
improve the robots mobility when
traversing a particular terrain.
Onboard batteries are currently the
sole power source for robots, and the
complexities and limitations of bat-
teries particularly those related to
temperature need to be factored
into a robots energy intelligence.
If the operating temperature of a bat-
tery exceeds its limits and overheats,
the battery control system will tem-
porarily shut down operation and
enter into a cooling-down period.
During this stage, the robot is essen-
tially paralyzed. ARC researchers
have shown that an example 1.5-hour
baseline field-testing drive cycle can
cause batteries to overheat, and raise
the battery temperature from 25C to
approximately 60C, which puts the
robot into cool-down paralysis.
To address this problem, a team of
researchers led by U-M Prof. Anna
Stefanopoulou has developed and
validated an electro-thermal battery
model, as well as an algorithm that
leverages this model to predict the
voltage and temperature response of
the battery. When the algorithm pre-
dicts that the battery is about to
reach unsafe temperatures, it limits
the power drawn from the battery to
thwart overheating, which allows the
battery to operate at its maximum
temperature limit and prevents cool-
down paralysis.
Results of the ARC robotics case
study predict that a robot using this
algorithm could complete a mission
up to one-and-a-half times faster
than a robot that does not use it.
Although actual mission execution
may differ significantly from M&S
exercises, the simulation predictions
are still useful. In fact, ARC research-
ers have found a way to fuse prior
knowledge with the data from real-
time measurements for a more accu-
rate prediction of whether the robot
has sufficient energy to complete a
mission as planned or if compromises
will be required to complete the task.
Professors Galip Ulsoy and Judy Jin
noted that, We may think we have
enough energy to complete the mis-
sion based on real-time data only, but
that may be incorrect, because rely-
ing only on the current data is equiv-
alent to assuming that the terrain
conditions are uniform and do not
change. However, combining prior
knowledge with real-time data will
ARC researchers
track a robots
velocity, battery
power and battery
temperature to
predict energy
provide a much more accurate pre-
diction of mission energy
ARC researchers have incorporated
all of these models and algorithms
into an integrated approach that
could provide new capabilities for
energy intelligence to Army robots. A
TARDEC/ARC research team is
working to transition the new tech-
nology to TARDEC. The delivery of
the ARC-developed M&S software
for predicting thermo-electric bat-
tery response is just the beginning of
a long-term collaborative effort
between the ARC and TARDEC.
There are many complementary
efforts under way that can further
enhance robotic capabilities. For
example, Tilburys group also studies
tele-operation interfaces for land
robots with the goal of improving
that capability. Additionally, William
Smith, a Ph.D. student, is studying
the terramechanics of wheeled robots.
Smith is a DoD Science, Mathematics
and Research for Transformation
(SMART) Scholarship student who
works at TARDEC each summer
during his graduate studies and will
become a full-time employee after
graduation. This arrangement permits
TARDEC to leverage his expertise and
benefit from the resulting technology
TARDEC also has an in-house
research program on terramechanics
led by Dr. Paramsothy Jayakumar
and supported by ARC researcher Dr.
Corina Sandu from Virginia Poly-
technic Institute and State University.
The successful melding of all these
research results will lead to improved
robot mobility.
In addition to providing new energy
intelligence capabilities for TARDEC
robots, the new technology can be
used to perform robotic trade space
analyses and help support informed
tradeoffs for optimal performance.
The models can help answer ques-
tions such as whether adding another
battery pack will help a robot per-
form a longer mission, or instead add
too much weight and negatively
impact mobility. Ultimately, the
answers to this and other questions
will help TARDEC deliver better and
more useful robotic platforms to
Dr. Tulga Ersal is an Assistant
Research Scientist at the
University of Michigan and the
Automotive Research Centers
Research Integration Lead and
the Dynamics and Control of
Vehicles Thrust Area Leader. He
has a Ph.D. from the University
of Michigan in Mechanical
U-M Prof. Dawn
Tilbury with student
John Broderick
program a robot to
increase its energy
What has the ground vehicle community done right? What can it do better?
A panel of experienced warfighters who now work at TARDEC gave
feedback on those questions and others. You may be surprised at what
they say about the Humvee, parrot drones and the Battle of the Bulge.
Soldiers with the 7th Special
Forces Group (Airborne)
perform off-road maneuvers
with light tactical all-terrain
vehicles (LTATVs) at Fort Bliss,
Texas, during a training
exercise. The Warfighter
Panel endorsed the concept of
smaller, faster vehicles
employing maneuver warfare
tactics. (U.S. Army photo by
SPC Steven Young.)
accelerate Magazine editors recently
sat down with five TARDEC
associates four active-duty Army
officers and one Marine whos now
a civilian associate. We lobbed a few
questions at them to hear their views
on how vehicles and technology
could elevate our Future Forces
effectiveness in the field.
We premised this roundtable
discussion with the Jan. 23
comment by Army Chief of Staff
GEN Raymond Odierno, because
it ref lects a recurring theme in the
Soldiers observations as they speak
about mobility and its essential
importance in maintaining kinetic,
offensive capabilities on the
The editors want to acknowledge
the National Defense Industry
Associations (NDIAs) Michigan
Chapter because we borrowed the
Warfighter Panel concept from
them. Each year at the NDIAs
annual Ground Vehicle Systems
Engineering and Technology
Symposium (GVSETS), the
conference features a similar
panel with unfiltered feedback
from Soldiers and Marines who
recently returned from theater. The
conversation with our Soldiers (and
former Marine) occurred earlier this
fiscal year.
Here are the participants:
LTC Sherwood Baker
Quality advisor with the Center for
Systems Integration. Baker has a Mas-
ters degree in
ing and works
with various
product and
project man-
agers, depots
and arsenals.
He has also
worked in the Project Manager (PM)
office for construction engineering
equipment, and as a software engineer
at Future Combat Systems. Baker is a
Military Intelligence officer, who has
served in intelligence assignments
all over the world. He has deployed
to Iraq three times and Afghanistan
three times, most recently returning
from Afghanistan in July 2013.
LTC Michael Powell
Powell is the Acting TARDEC Mil-
itary Deputy. Previously, he worked
in PM Trans-
portation Sys-
tems and was
the Product
Director for
the Armored
Security Vehi-
cle (ASV). He
previously had
a two-year assignment at the Pentagon
in the Office of the Assistant Secre-
tary of the Army (Acquisition, Logis-
tics and Technology), and a train-
ing-with-industry assignment with
General Dynamics Land Systems. As a
Major, he served as Assistant Product
Manager for Light Tactical Vehicles
where he managed the Up-Armored
HMMWV [High Mobility Multi-
purpose Wheeled Vehicle] fleet from
2005 to 2008.
MAJ Chris Orlowski
Orlowski serves as Assistant Prod-
uct Manager Man Transportable
Robotic Sys-
tem Incre-
ment II in
the Robotics
Systems Joint
Project Office.
He began his
career in
Ground Vehicle Robotics and deployed
in support of the Joint Robotics Repair
Detachment in Afghanistan for six
months. Since his return, Orlowski
has worked on the M-160 Mine
Clearing System and the TALON
robot system.
MAJ Stephen Tegge
Tegge is special project officer on
the Early Entry Combat Vehicle
(EECV) program. EECV involves
Over the last several years, what weve done is trade mobility for
survivability weve got to get back in line. I need tactical mobility for
the future. So we need to move toward mobility and figure out how do
we sustain survivability while increasing mobility.
GEN Raymond Odierno
U.S. Army Chief of Staff
an air-droppable firepower platform
and the next-generation close-com-
bat vehicle.
He taught
doctrine at
Fort Benning,
GA, at the
Infantry Cap-
tains Career
Course, and
commanded Alpha Company 2nd
Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment
in Iraq and led a rif le platoon in
LCpl Brock Brani
Brani works at the TARDEC Soft-
ware Engineering Center. Projects
include the
MRAP Digi-
tal Backbone.
he worked
with Special
on engineering changes for SOCOM
vehicles. In the U.S. Marine Corps,
LCpl Brani served as an Infantryman
with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion,
24th Marines Regiment in Iraq and
Q: Lets talk about mobility. What
did you find were the best options
on the battlefield?
LTC Baker: The last time I was in
Afghanistan, it was with the Special
Operations community. They had a
different mission. They liked to use
the smaller vehicles. They can get
in and out, they can be air-dropped,
they can drive off the back of another
vehicle. The Special Operations guys
go way back where regular troops
dont go. But there was a gap in capa-
bility. They had M-ATVs and they
had the smaller vehicles but there was
nothing in between. [Warfighters]
are willing to sacrifice some protec-
tion for more mobility.
MAJ Tegge: To me, mobility far out-
does protection. I would have thrown
away plates and equipment to get the
LTC Baker: The trouble with that
is, if you have a casualty, you have a
commander who has to explain to his
commander, who has to explain to a
congressman, who has to explain to
the parents why that Soldier wasnt
wearing his protective gear.
LTC Powell: Protective gear is one
thing, but when we start talking
about vehicles, especially the
HMMWV, there is a big tradeoff
between survivability and mobility.
As Major Tegge alluded to, mobility
is essential because it enables vehi-
cles to get out of the way of enemy
Take the HMMWV for example.
Some would argue that we added too
much armor on the side of a vehi-
cle that was initially not designed to
support that weight. It caused a lot
of cascading effects associated with
the suspension system, the engine
and so forth. If you are going to
increase survivability, you are also
going to have to increase other vehi-
cle components such as engine size
and transmission. There are a lot
of increases that need to take place
to go along with those survivability
MAJ Tegge: The HMMWV was
the savior for my guys. I had the
most Purple Hearts of any unit in
my brigade but had no KIAs [killed
in action] when I was in command
because we were able to fight them
more on our terms by virtue of using
HMMWVs. We would take out our
Bradley [Fighting Vehicles] and
tanks once in a while we used
those when we had to go where we
knew there were IEDs [improvised
explosive devices]. When we took
out the HMMWVs, we could drive
through neighborhoods, we could
whip through traffic, we could go
anywhere, and we wouldnt tear
down their power lines. You could
send three platoons in three different
directions and converge on the objec-
tive from multiple angles.
The key to survival was going to
where the IEDs werent. All we have
done by increasing our [armor] pro-
tection and increasing the vehicles
weight and height is limit ourselves
to going where the IEDs are going
to be. Yes, we will survive [a blast],
but [the enemy] will make a big-
ger bomb. With the body armor we
lose the mobility. You have to take
a knee, return fire and call in artil-
lery instead of maneuvering on the
enemy. Mobility gives you the abil-
ity to fight smartly. In my opinion,
the focus has to be on faster, lighter,
smaller vehicles. You are not going
to be able to hit me with an ATGM
[anti-tank guided missile] or shoot
me with a tank if I am going 70
mph and were in and out of the ter-
rain. We wouldnt have traded our
HMMWVs for anything.
LTC Powell: One of the challenges
we had back then is that we were
basically armoring a beer can.
We had the GVW [gross vehicle
The Special
Operations guys go way
back where regular
troops dont go. They
liked to use the smaller
vehicles. They can get in
and out, they can be air-
dropped, they can drive
off the back of another
weight] at a certain level and we had
exceeded that weight tremendously
by the time I had left that program
office. The HMMWV was never
intended to be used as a combat plat-
form; it was intended to be a utility
vehicle. As we look out to the future,
whatever capabilities we come up
with, we have to make sure that they
are flexible because we never know
what that vehicle or platform will
ultimately be used for. Just like we
never thought that the HMMWV
would be a combat platform, but
it was used that way in Iraq and
Brani: I agree with Major Tegge.
Our base platform in the Marine
Corps at the time in the city of Fal-
lujah was the up-armored HMMWV
and it wasnt even the fully upgraded
armor; it was the plate armor at the
time, when I got in country. It still
had a little bit of maneuverability
but being in the city, you are still
subjected to turning into a small
alley and being shot at, or being hit
with a complex IED attack. If we had
to move a bunch of Marines at the
same time, we would usually ride the
Armadillo, which is a seven-ton plat-
form with just armored sides.
Maneuverability was the biggest thing
with the vehicles, but they kept getting
bigger and bigger as we started leav-
ing. The M-ATV [All-Terrain Vehi-
cle] wasnt there yet, but that would
have been nice. Of all the MRAPs
[Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected]
so far, its the most proficient com-
bination of speed and survivability.
But its still a target compared to what
you could do if you have something
smaller, lighter and quicker.
MAJ Orlowski: I was in Afghani-
stan last year and two things: What
I observed was units requesting just
plate carriers a [personal armor]
vest that carries just a front and back
plate. I assume that it increases their
[dismounted] mobility you get
some of those effects back and you are
protecting your core.
Second, we could see the effort put into
route clearance, making sure the vehi-
cles were up, making sure there were
multiple solutions. The materiel solu-
tion options would drive operational
procedures. For example, there are cer-
tain sensors that can only be effective
if you are driving very slow to counter
the IEDs. So now you have engineer-
ing route clearance platoons driving
[slowly] in kinetic operations, so you
need weapons teams with those forma-
tions to protect them. The patrols that
started with three or four vehicles bal-
looned to 10 vehicles, all up-armored,
and you are adding up-armored kits to
them because the enemy was building
bigger bombs.
MAJ Tegge: Our billion-dollar
solution was thwarted by their $30
Q: What are some of the chal-
lenges with moving technology
MAJ Tegge: We tend to validate
everything through modeling and
simulation and most of that is fire-
power ratios thrown in a box. You
never get to see how the thinking guy
employs his resources. One of my
NCOs [noncommissioned officers]
at one point said, If you modeled
A CH-53E Super Stallion assigned with Marine Heavy Helicopter
Squadron 462 transports a HMMWV at Kajaki, Helmand province,
Afghanistan, Oct. 7, 2013. Soldiers said that HMMWVs proved valuable in
operations because of their maneuverability and agililty. (U.S. Marine
Corps photo by Sgt. Gabriela Garcia)
Mobility gives you
the ability to fight smartly.
In my opinion, the focus
has to be on faster, lighter,
smaller vehicles.
the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans
would win every time. Because you
cant account for how Americans used
the tools at their disposal. People want
something you can quantify. You can-
not quantify human intellect and how
they employ the weapons they have.
[TARDEC Director] Dr. Rogers is
pushing that with these Soldier Inno-
vation Workshops bring Soldiers in
and get their take, and you can build
a core of information on what Soldiers
want and what they see as best.
LTC Powell: I understand that we are
focused on S&T improvements and
advancements, but whatever we come
up with, we have to think about the
holistic and systematic approach to it
and not just build a component, per
se. Youve got to determine how it is
going to fit on the platform. We have
to integrate it at some point.
Q: Does mobility equal
LTC Powell: I wouldnt say mobil-
ity equals survivability. I would say it
could be a bigger part of survivability.
I dont think the two are equal.
MAJ Tegge: I have always said that
there has to be an intersection. There is
an intersection point somewhere so that
the amount of survivability built into a
vehicle does not destroy our ability to
fight a fight. There has to be a break-
even point where you stop the madness.
We are trying to fight a war without
getting anybody killed but in the pro-
cess we are losing our ability to take
the offensive. We get attacked at their
disposal we just tend to survive a
little more. The military is now start-
ing to talk about the smaller, lighter
vehicles more transportable and
more mobile. At least the dialogue has
begun. Maybe well learn something
from the way weve fought the last
12-15 years.
LTC Baker: Mobility depends on
what country youre in too. The roads
in Afghanistan are, what roads? In
Iraq, you had a more advanced coun-
try with better highway systems.
Q: This sounds like a question of
doctrine and how we fight.
MAJ Orlowski: I would not say
doctrine, I would say JCIDS [Joint
Capabilities Integration and Develop-
ment System] the way we procure
systems is the limiting factor. The
way the rules work is we cant spend
money unless we have a requirement.
Its gotten so silly that now this may
be getting a little off track we have
thousands of excess robots. We cant
give them to units unless they were
bought with dollars for Afghanistan
thats the guidance. Unless a unit
is going to Afghanistan, they cannot
have robots unless theyre bought for
LTC Powell: We all have our role
though. In the PM shops, we cant
spend money without a require-
ment. But you have DARPA [Defense
Advanced Research Projects
Agency], RDECOM [Research,
Development and Engineering
Command], TARDEC and so forth,
you have organizations that arent
requirements-driven organizations.
As long as PMs focus on being the
materiel developer and the research
and development personnel such
focus on developing new technology,
its a win-win for everyone involved.
MAJ Tegge: Id like to see TARDEC
build small, fast, light demonstrators
build several of them and hand
them to platoons of Soldiers and ask
them, How would you use these
Soldiers from 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division,
move to their objective during a live-fire exercise at Yakima Training
Center, WA. Warfighter panelists said Stryker and the similar LAV have
advantages as combat vehicles because they move Soldiers quickly. (U.S.
Army photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher McCullough.)
things? And that could address the
doctrine we were talking about. We
have doctrine for counterinsurgency
now. Counterinsurgency [COIN]
should be fly-by-the-seat-of-your-
pants tactics that you apply in the
rear echelon as youre invading some-
where. COIN should go the route of
trench warfare. Its applicable in cer-
tain situations but we shouldnt have
an entire doctrine built around it.
Lets get beyond this.
MAJ Orlowski: Its a collection of
best practices.
MAJ Tegge: Thats what it is. We
started talking about these smaller,
lighter vehicles and the minute you
pitch something like that to MCO
[Major Combat Operations], they
say, How does that fit into the light-
heavy Stryker concept? It doesnt
its a new concept. I would hope that
technology can push us beyond this
The Germans learned that with an
airplane, a radio and a tank, you can
revolutionize warfare and roll right
over a trench. And they didnt say,
Well how do we fit this into our
World War I doctrine? They took
the technology available and applied
it in a different way and totally revo-
lutionized warfare. Were still using
that same doctrine. We need to ask,
Where do we go now? What if we
went another way? If we can build
some demonstrators and throw them
in Soldiers hands and say fight the
other guys, then you can start build-
ing new doctrine to better utilize the
technology. Thats tech push thats
what we need.
Q: Do we have the technological
edge do you have that confi-
dence in the field?
Brani: Technologically, yes, were
superior. But it doesnt change the
fact that the simplest technique of
one person shooting and scooting,
and then hiding can render 20 people
ineffective. One [enemy] guy can take
a few shots, get his job done, then
run away and do it again another
day. Theyre little mosquito bites that
eventually lead to a sickness.
Q: What are your ideas on the
platforms currently in the
MAJ Tegge: If Special Ops guys adopt
a specific vehicle or system, chances
are its pretty good, and they picked
up Strykers. Rangers use Strykers on
all their urban missions. We replaced
a Stryker Brigade when I went into
Mosul my guys rolled out on mis-
sions with those vehicles and they loved
them. When they did their IOTE [ini-
tial operational test and evaluation] in
the 501st Airborne, I donned guerilla
clothing and we went out in Kentucky
and fought against them. When they
employed the vehicles correctly, you
couldnt hear them coming all of a
sudden there was infantry everywhere.
But the robust capability you have with
Strykers and the amount of infantry you
can put on the ground, and how quickly
you can move them from point A to
point B is well worth it. If youre in a
maneuver fight and need to get Soldiers
to places pretty fast, theyre wonderful.
MAJ Orlowski: I would see them
running around Kandahar last year.
They looked like battle wagons and had
multiple weapons on them. They were
shorter than MRAPs and the center of
gravity was lower. I rarely saw reports of
Strykers getting hit especially when
they had double-V hulls and Sol-
diers losing their lives.
Brani: I dont have much experience
with Strykers, but I have worked with
LAVs [Light Armored Vehicles a
similar Marine Corps vehicle]. Ive
seen those things operate with just
three or four wheels at most you
may have two shot off on one side and
two shot off on the other side, and it
can still move through about 3 feet of
sludge, mud or whatever surface you
have. They can still get the job done.
But if you try to do that with a 4x4 or
6x6 MRAP, youre pretty much immo-
bile, and you may have to wait about
45 minutes to replace one of those.
MAJ Tegge: The funny thing about
MRAPs is, sure it was considered an
acquisition success, but the only guys
Ive met who really liked MRAPs were
engineers who had to clear the routes,
because they had to go where the IEDs
were. We had to rescue a team whose
[MRAP] vehicle got hit they sur-
vived. But we wound up in a sustained
firefight getting them out of there and
getting sensitive items out of the vehi-
cle. We all survived. But guys like me
who have to cruise around and fight
all the time didnt want MRAPs
they were just too much. They are a
great acquisition success the vehicle
is good for limited things but theyre
very purpose-oriented.
Q: How does implementing Capa-
bility Set 13 (a communications
package) affect operations?
LTC Powell: From a communica-
tions standpoint, that is obviously
important. That gives us the supe-
riority we have. Blue Force Tracker,
Force 21, all of those types of C4ISR
[Command, Control, Communica-
tions, Computers, Intelligence, Sur-
veillance and Reconnaissance] items
are key. It enables us to a do a lot of
things our enemies cant do. There-
fore, it is a combat multiplier on the
battlefield. Communication is key,
If Special Ops guys
adopt a specific vehicle
or system, chances are
its pretty good, and they
picked up Strykers.
and the packages we have are what we
need. We are definitely going in the
right direction in that respect.
MAJ Tegge: Youve got to filter the
communication sometimes because
one of the problems you may get is
leadership [micromanaging] the guys
fighting the fight. When I am a com-
pany commander, I dont need the
brigade command post telling me
what to do they are watching me
on a screen from a UAV [unmanned
aerial vehicle] and they are contact-
ing me on my direct internal com-
pany network because they think I
am doing something wrong when
they arent even in the fight.
Communication is great, situational
awareness is great, but there is a ten-
dency to micromanage.
Q: Is there also a concern about
carrying more communication
Brani: I wanted fewer communi-
cation devices. If we were going out
for a few days, I had my big assault
pack, if it was just for a day, I had a
smaller pack. We limited the amount
of communications we had to a few
people in the squad we still had
two or three radios. Now they are
coming out with bigger radios
granted, they are capable of shooting
halfway around the world if need be,
but if youre in the city the last thing
you need is something half your
size to lug around with all of your
gear. Being able to integrate multiple
things into a smaller package would
be ideal. With the technology, where
it is currently, its not advanced
enough to do that. We are working
on it though.
LTC Baker: It is important, ISR
[intelligence, surveillance and recon-
naissance] for the platoon. When
fighting an insurgency, you are out
on the battlefield and what you have
with you is what you have to fight
the enemy what you carry on your
back. The Special Ops guys would
come into contact with the enemy,
they may see four or five mud huts or
something like that. They need to find
out where they are, so they like to have
small UAVs or some type of surveil-
lance or reconnaissance on their own
that they can carry on their back and
just throw it out there and they have
short-range communications. I notice
the Special Operations guys prefer that
they make those quick decisions and
thats what they do best. Many maneu-
vers need to be decided at the ground
level. Communication can be short
Q: What do you think of technology
aimed at situational awareness,
such as small UAVs?
LTC Baker: Dont most people want
to know whats on the other side of the
hill? It also gives you an advantage
you can maneuver and engage enemy
on your terms rather than engage on
the enemys terms.
MAJ Tegge: The enemy will know
youre looking. But with something like
a parrot drone really small ones
they may not know.
LTC Baker: We had some that size
the British Army purchased them and
brought them out to test them. They
could fly up and you couldnt hear
them until they were feet away from
you. That technologys out there, it just
costs money.
MAJ Tegge: Even if they know Im
looking at them, sometimes it doesnt
matter. With the parrot drone, you
could control it on a smart phone by
downloading an app[lication]. Thats
my wish. The ability to know the
enemy is right there to click on a
smart phone, zoom in on it, have a
10-digit grid hit call-for-fire app and
now rounds are falling on that spot. It
takes a second and a half to view my
app and, bam, Ive got rounds on it.
Q: Smaller is better?
MAJ Tegge: Yes. If Im clearing a
building, I have to leave a guy in each
room to secure it. What if I had a
smart phone or maybe an iPad in a
vehicle outside that can be linked to
all these little cameras that we can
stick on walls? Because with those,
I can carry 10 or 12 of them on me.
I can leave them in each room and
keep my fire team together as we
clear rooms, and the dude in the
vehicle can say, Hey, somebody just
walked into room X and tell us what
to do. I can secure a building with-
out reducing my manpower. If they
already have that, thats awesome.
MAJ Orlowski: Actually, the Infan-
try School is working on that require-
ment its emerging.
Q: What are important develop-
ments for future operations?
MAJ Orlowski: For me, its auton-
omy. Its sensor improvement,
platform improvement, processor
improvement, algorithm improve-
ments a lot of things go into mak-
ing Terminator. The best way to
do those types of things is highly
dependent on certain algorithms and
LIDAR, which is light radar. They
send a laser scan out and map the
area of interest. Its highly dependent
on processing power. I dont think
the technology is there yet its not
fast enough. A lot of smart people are
working on it.
If we had the will and the money,
you could have automated convoys
go from base to base. What were not
quite there with, yet, is if a 4-year-old
kid steps out in front of an autono-
mous vehicle, what is it going to do?
But going from point A to point B,
we could do that now.
Q: Do you ever see developments
in the automotive industry or
other technologies and think to
yourselves, I could use that in a
military application?
LTC Baker: OnStar does telemat-
ics you get a report every month
telling you, for instance, your oil has
28 percent life before it needs to be
changed, and tracks other vehicle
systems. They send a report every
month. That kind of stuff is good
its expensive but its commercially
available. If Soldiers see reports like
that, maybe it could help them adapt
their vehicles.
Brani: The robotics cases we cur-
rently have are big, heavy suitcases
with a monitor and controller. On
the civilian side, theres Google Glass
where its just nothing bigger than
your eyeglasses and its a whole video
camera and everything. If we could
figure out how to integrate that into a
robotic system thatd be pretty cool,
based on fact the user is no longer
using a table-size platform vs. some-
thing he wears right on his head and
weighs only a few ounces.
LTC Baker: One of our prob-
lems in the field is identifying the
enemy. They dont wear uniforms.
I would love to have a way to tag
those insurgents with something
they cant remove, or its difficult to
remove, within 48 hours or so, and
then send people in to look for them.
In my experience, a lot of insurgents
arent from that area [theyre oper-
ating in] anyway so they might go
in there and threaten the locals. If
there was a way with a UAV possibly
to tag these guys you dont neces-
sarily have to kill them but when
they go back to where they gather in
their safe house, you can nab them
that way.
Brani: In Britain, a police sting actu-
ally did a test and proved the technol-
ogy. They have a light misting product
that actually dyes something on the
[suspects] clothes and exposed skin
for a couple weeks and no matter
what they do, they cannot get it off.
As soon as you put a UV or black
light on them, theyre covered in
green dye completely, clothes and
Q: When you hear about the
30-Year Strategy, how do you feel
about that kind of long-range
LTC Powell: I think its absolutely
critical to plan 30 years out. If we
dont have a plan, we will never meet
our long-term goals.
MAJ Tegge: Leading up to those
meetings, TARDEC was about stove-
pipes. Everyone concentrated on their
own world. But during the meetings,
the mobility guys were talking to the
survivability guys, who were talking
to the computer people, and the ana-
lytics people were talking to the PIF
[Prototype Integration Facility] people.
Everybody was talking to each other
and in one fell swoop, the silos were
shattered. We all understand that were
intertwined and there was a lot of hor-
izontal flow of information happening
instead just up and down the silos.
To piggy back on what LTC Powell
said, if you look at any business lit-
erature, any company that only con-
centrates on five years out is doomed
to failure. They all fail. Your 30-Year
Strategy is like any goal in life: you
might not achieve 100 percent, but at
least youre focusing on [a future goal]
and being flexible as you try to get
there. Thats what it represents to me
becoming more future-minded.
Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat
Team, 82nd Airborne Division prepare for a mounted patrol in their M-ATVs
near the Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan. Soldiers said M-ATV came
close to an effective combination of agility and protection. (U.S. Air Force
photo by Tech. Sgt. Joselito Aribuabo.)
Third Soldier
Innovation Workshop
Creates Visions
of Tomorrow
By accelerate Staff
Soldiers perspective and a
designers creative touch are
proving to be vital tools when
developing ground vehicle concepts.
TARDECs third Soldier Innovation
Workshop pulled together active-duty
Soldiers of various ranks and back-
grounds, primarily from the Armys
82nd Airborne Division, design stu-
dents from the College for Creative
Studies (CCS) in Detroit, and engi-
neers from TARDEC and other Army
labs and research centers.
Dr. Paul Rogers, TARDEC Director,
emphasized the importance of bring-
ing innovation and fresh perspectives
into the design process. Were trying
to change the paradigm, get out of the
typical development process and bring
in new ideas, he explained. The
insight and passion that the students
and Soldiers bring makes this such a
valuable exercise.
At the latest session Dec. 16-18 the
third in a series of these workshops
transportation design students cre-
ated more than 180 ideations propos-
ing concepts within the requirements
of an Early Entry Combat Vehicle
capability for the Army. The group
explored concepts for potential vehicle
interiors, suspensions, hulls, turrets,
weapon systems, vision systems,
deployment systems, vehicle packages,
and cargo and storage systems.
Craig Effinger, the workshops
Program Manager, said the exercise
once again proved its value by giving
TARDEC engineers an opportunity to
think creatively and envision the art-
of-the-possible. Its vital that we have
this tool to help develop platform con-
cepts and designs by getting opera-
tional feedback from Soldiers, he
commented. As we take this thing
through the funnel, we want some-
thing to come out of it, something
that is relevant and valuable.
SFC Parrish Smith, 82nd Airborne
Division, Fort Bragg, NC, appreciated
the opportunity to participate.
Working with these student design-
ers, and engineers, has been great. The
designers are excited to do something
for the military its refreshing, he
stated. They have been receptive to
our ideas our input is very import-
ant to them. I have been impressed
with the level of work they have put
into this.
The CCS students also saw the value in
working with the Soldiers while creat-
ing their ideations. Typically we do a
lot of stylized work, and this is way
more real, explained Jordan Mielke, a
senior in Transportation Design at
CCS. Working with the Soldiers and
engineers provided us with immediate
feedback, which was great.
Aaron Smith, a CCS junior studying
industrial design, said that he enjoyed
exploring concepts related to hull
design and weapon systems and being
able to ask the Soldiers if a concept
could potentially help them in the
field. We not only get to sketch the
Soldiers and engineers ideas, but we
get to talk about our ideas and find
out how viable they are, Smith stated.
I like to think about how to use exist-
ing technology without recycling the
same old ideas.
The second day of the workshop
included participation from several
Army senior leaders including MG
William Hix, Deputy Director/Chief
of Staff, ARCIC; BG Christopher
Cavoli, Deputy Commanding
General-Operations, 82nd Airborne
Division; and Tom Bagwell, Deputy
Program Executive Officer, PEO
Ground Combat Systems (GCS).
They reviewed the requirements and
provided feedback, Effinger stated.
By getting everyones input, this pro-
cess should help unify the Armys
approach to both mobile protected
firepower and next-generation combat
vehicle capability developments.
Former TARDEC Military Deputy
COL Charles Dease emphasized that
the ideas and concepts generated at
the Soldier Innovation Workshops
will help the Soldiers of tomorrow.
You are putting your fingerprints on
something that your son, your daugh-
ter and your grandkids are going to
drive in the future, he remarked.
Open your minds and throw it all out
on the table no idea is a bad idea.
Rogers expressed an interest in con-
tinuing this process by expanding the
partnership into the classroom. Im
hopeful we can pull something to-
gether between the Army and CCS
and continue to develop these ideas
in a classroom setting, Rogers told
Top: Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division discussed the benefits and
drawbacks of current military vehicle designs with CCS students before the
students began sketching future concepts.
Warfighters and TARDEC engineers advise CCS students on the attributes
theyre looking for in military ground systems. TARDEC has held three Soldier
Innovation Workshops to inject creativity and fresh perspectives into future
vehicle concept design. (U.S. Army TARDEC photos by Brian Ferencz.)
Reducing fuel consumption ranks as one of the most critical issues facing the
military and the nation. The Army and Department of Energy are collaborating
across broad areas of technical interest that will result in long-term mutual
value to reach the ultimate goal substantially increasing energy efficiency.
By accelerate Staff
The Department of Defense (DoD)
and Department of Energy (DoE)
have demonstrated they can accom-
plish more together through collab-
oration than either agency can alone
by taking separate paths to energy
security and conservation.
To take advantage of their vehi-
cle research and development
(R&D) roles, the U.S. Army Tank
Automotive Research, Development
and Engineering Center (TARDEC)
and DoE Vehicle Technologies Office
(VTO) were chartered to pool their
respective resources to overcome
technical barriers that will result in
more fuel-efficient commercial and
military ground vehicles.
Collaboration like this requires
common goals, equally willing
partners and a great deal of trust,
DoE VTO Director Patrick Davis
commented. We have the common
goals we both are intently inter-
ested in the development of advanced
vehicle technologies to achieve our
respective missions and we both
are intently interested in leveraging
resources and capabilities.
Davis pointed out the urgency in
having the two organizations work
with industry partners toward their
shared goals. We are still spending
almost $1 billion every day just for
the petroleum we consume. So this is
an economic issue, this is an energy
security issue and it translates to
a national security issue. It is also
about environmental stewardship,
he asserted.
The organizations collaborate in the
following major programs:
In 2011, the Department of the
Army (DA) and DoE chartered
the Advanced Vehicle Power
Technology Alliance (AVPTA) and
since then, VTO and TARDEC
have worked closely to identify
areas of mutual technical interest
and collaborate on projects that
will reduce energy consumption in
commercial, passenger and mili-
tary vehicles.
DoE and DA extended the AVPTA
enterprise to engage within the
21st Century Truck Partnership
(21CTP), an industry-government
collaboration among heavy-
duty engine manufacturers,
medium-duty and heavy-duty
truck and bus manufacturers,
heavy-duty hybrid powertrain
manufacturers and other fed-
eral agencies, including the
Department of Transportation and
Environmental Protection Agency.
The VTO Annual Merit Review
(AMR) and Peer Evaluation
Meeting enables TARDEC sub-
ject-matter experts (SMEs) to
review advanced energy projects
funded by DoE for technical
accomplishment and future direc-
tion. TARDEC SMEs participate
on AMR panels that engage in
peer interaction among academic,
government and industry mem-
bers who share and gain insights.
Another potential area for VTO/
TARDEC engagement is the Small
Business Incubator Program. The
VTO is launching this initiative
aimed at high pay-off potential
next-generation technologies and
approaches supporting commer-
cially viable transportation solu-
tions, while also promoting small
businesses and suppliers.
These partnerships help accelerate
the transition of multi-use technol-
ogy into deployment by streamlining
R&D efforts. Through the AVPTA
and the 21CTP, both organizations
gain value by pooling funding, expe-
rience/expertise and facility resources.
The Multi-Material Joining project under the AVPTA is working to overcome
technology gaps that allow for attaching dissimilar materials to each other to
achieve weight savings while maintaining safety in commercial and military
ground vehicle systems. TARDECs recently purchased robotic arc welding cell
allows for in-house welding experimentation and process development. (U.S.
Army TARDEC photo.)
Collaboration also establishes com-
munication paths that enable aware-
ness of ongoing activities within the
respective organizations and the
broader technical communities with
which they interface.
TARDEC Director Dr. Paul Rogers
echoed Daviss remarks, adding that
DoDs relationship with DoE will
allow the ground vehicle community
to replicate the advanced technol-
ogies that help the Army achieve
its long-term energy efficiency
goals. Its incumbent upon us in
the science and technology [S&T]
community to work with industry to
mature and transition the advanced
technologies this community has
developed, Rogers explained.
Continued collaboration is an
effective way to learn each others
mutual interests, identify dual-use
opportunities, and leverage research
and development resources as bud-
gets get tighter.
The AVPTA portfolio contains 13
ongoing projects across seven tech-
nology focus areas that include Light-
Weight Structures and Materials,
Energy Recovery and Thermal
Management, Electrified Propulsion
Systems, and Energy Storage and
Batteries. While the AVPTA pursues
these projects in an effort to increase
future fuel efficiency, the military
must also consider commercially
available technology and supply
chains to develop solutions required
for its unique applications and per-
formance requirements.
Two notable ongoing AVPTA projects
are Light-Weight Vehicle Structures
and Fuel Bulk Modulus. Within the
Light-Weight Structures project a
trade-off study was conducted that
recommended material substitution
for the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV)
turret enabling significant weight
savings. A prototype light-weight
turret may be demonstrated in mid-
to late 2014. The Fuel Bulk Modulus
project has led to the development of
five fuel properties test rigs that will
be supplied to DA and DoE laborato-
ries to conduct round robin testing.
Possibly as important as the results
of these AVPTA projects, working on
these programs enabled the organiza-
tions to refine their methods of col-
laborating and combining resources,
Davis remarked.
For me, one of the most satisfying
aspects of the partnership is the way
we both have been able to set aside
TARDEC-DoE projects like the 21st Century Truck Partnership should help the Army meet long-range energy efficiency
goals for its truck fleets. Continued collaboration is an effective way to leverage research and development resources
as budgets get tighter, TARDEC Director Dr. Paul Rogers said. (U.S. Army photo by SSG Cynthia Spalding.)
whatever differences we have to truly
work together, pooling resources to
achieve success, he added.
An integral AVPTA partnership
component is the VTO AMR,
where the advanced energy proj-
ects funded by DoE are reviewed
for technical accomplishment and
future direction. This is a critical
path element for AVPTA sustain-
ment, explained TARDEC National
Automotive Center Senior Engineer
Scott Schramm. The Annual
Merit Review exposes TARDEC to
a broader technology community
and, in turn, allows for broader
TARDEC and DoE VTO continue
their collaborative efforts through
the 21CTP, which focuses on the fol-
lowing key technology areas:
Engine systems
Heavy-duty hybrids
Vehicle power demands
Idle reduction
Efficient operations
Subtopics include intelligent trans-
portations systems, crash avoidance,
parasitic loss and idle reductions.
The Armys primary logistics bur-
den is shipping fuel and water to
forward-deployed operational forces
in war zones and remote locations.
Through joint programs that exam-
ine how to make heavy-duty com-
mercial trucks more fuel efficient, the
Army can transfer those technologies
to its work/administrative use vehi-
cles on U.S. bases and, after further
reliability and performance demon-
strations, to its tactical and combat
vehicles in the field.
TARDEC recently hosted the
21CTP Fall Meeting that provided
government and industry represen-
tatives a forum to identify candidate
areas of mutual technical interest
to create the foundation for more
proactive DoD engagement and
partnership participation. These
semi-annual 21CTP on-site meetings
are excellent opportunities for host
organizations to interact with an
important national transportation
sector, Davis noted. I was pleased
that TARDEC could host the Fall
meeting and provide their military
perspective to the heavy vehicle
TARDECs Rogers stressed that the
Army can define its challenges, but
it needs industry partners, such as
the transportation industry represen-
tatives attending the 21CTP confer-
ence, to help deliver solutions. The
laboratory is an important place for
us to get together and have this dia-
logue, and we are taking full advan-
tage of it, Rogers stated. Its our
responsibility to define the military
problems and share with you where
we think military procurement and
capability are going over time. That
was the purpose of diving so deep
and putting so much energy into
our 30-Year Strategy to share that
information with industry over the
coming months.
The better we articulate our chal-
lenges and the better we articulate
where were going over time, the
more we enable industry to bring us
solutions affordable, timely solu-
tions that benefit our warfighters,
concluded Rogers.
COL Bruce McPeak, Director of Materiel Systems and Operational Energy for
CASCOM, listens to TARDEC Engineer Daniel Maslach (left) explain fuel cell
research in the Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory during the 21st
Century Truck Partnership Fall Meeting. The collaborative event helped
participants identify areas of mutual technical interest. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.)
Wireless Recharging
Any idea that could reduce a Soldiers weight burden and increase survivability
has merits. Engineers are studying the concept of wireless power transfer in the
field, which would accomplish the above objectives for Soldiers and possibly
lower life-cycle costs for the Army.
By Dr. Abul Masrur
Non-contact wireless power transfer
technology transmitting power
from a distance to energize devices
has attracted attention because it
could reduce the Soldiers weight bur-
den, ease logistics challenges and sig-
nificantly reduce the risks a Soldier
must take to power electronics used
on the battlefield.
Wireless power transfer could involve
a small battery that powers Soldier
equipment or a larger propulsion bat-
tery for an electric or unmanned
robotic vehicle. Power transmission
distance can be a few inches to several
hundred feet, and possibly farther.
Power levels can be fractional watt, to
kilowatts, with the ultimate goal of
advancing technology to accommo-
date more. Power transmission meth-
odology could also be magnetic field-
based, inductive mechanisms for short
distances and microwaves for longer
distances. For line-of-sight (LOS) con-
ditions, transmission could also
involve laser-based systems.
This article will provide an overview
of the technologies, their possible
applications, the challenges and
potential for deployment. In addition
to untethered power transmission,
advantages of within-vehicle source-
to-load power delivery include easy
reconfiguration of source and load
locations, along with ease of repair
and maintenance by quick removal
and replacement of components.
The intent of early research was to
wirelessly transmit power from one
point to another within a vehicle, so
that electrical sources and loads could
be easily relocated or reconfigured
without having to significantly rewire
or redesign the engineering each time.
Through continued research, we
found that dismounted Soldiers who
carry a range of electrical equipment
may need to charge certain batteries
more frequently.
Currently, Soldiers must carry multi-
ple spare batteries to keep radios and
other equipment operational, leading
to additional weight burdens and con-
stant need for logistics resupply.
Eliminating this challenge and inte-
grating other potential vehicular
applications and recharge capabilities
using transferred power from source-
to-load is an innovation that could
significantly improve dismounted
operations in remote locations.
With Office of the Secretary of
Defense funding, the Tank
Automotive Research, Development
and Engineering Center (TARDEC)
initiated a Phase I Small Business
Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for
non-contact wireless power transfer.
Completed in early 2012, this project
delivered system hardware that was
demonstrated in a High Mobility
Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle
(HMMWV) environment, showing
that power can be wirelessly trans-
ferred from a transmitter in the seat to
power a device carried by someone
sitting on the vehicle or in the seats
vicinity. This wireless power transfer
device has compact packaging, and
uses lightweight, flexible repeaters to
enhance the power transfer distance
as necessary.
Although the initial amount of power
transfer for the Phase I SBIR was spec-
ified to be small and transmitted over
a short distance, the works success
showed technical feasibility and that
the scalability could be enhanced as
an initial research endeavor, to the
extent of 50 watts to 500 watts.
Similarly, the power transmission dis-
tance can be extended to around 10
feet initially. The research has signifi-
cant impact, because the technology
can be integrated to energize electrical
devices used by dismounted Soldiers
outside the vehicle and recharge other
Soldier devices inside the vehicle.
Work extension can lead to energizing
batteries on robotic vehicles for both
propulsion and delivery of power to
other loads within the vehicle.
UAV Maintainers from F Company, 1-1 Aviation Regiment, Task Force
Knighthawk, recharge the batteries on a UAV following a mission at Forward
Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by CPT Peter Smedberg.)
recharge capabilities
using transferred power
from source-to-load is
an innovation that could
significantly improve
dismounted operations
in remote locations.
Dr. Abul Masrur
TARDEC researcher
Applications for wireless power trans-
mission for military operations and
first responders are nearly limitless.
For example, a Soldier in a Mine-
Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP)
vehicle could tether and operate a
TALON robot from inside the vehicle.
Currently, a Soldier needs to retrieve
the robot to recharge its batteries. This
poses obvious danger to the human
operator, who must leave the vehicle to
replace the robots battery. The danger
is significantly mitigated if the robot
can be recharged by fully wireless
means remote powering of its bat-
tery for propulsion or catering to any
other mission load.
The schematic diagram in Figure 1
shows the possible organization of
various power and energy (P&E)
sources and loads within a vehicle.
The haphazard wiring system indi-
cated is heavily dependent on the
location or placement of obstructing
objects (shown in brown). Typically,
the source and load are separated by a
barrier or obstruction. Now add a new
load or new battery-powered piece of
equipment to the system to enhance
the vehicles capability. Because of the
loads location in this wired system,
placement will require reshuffling or
reengineering the equipment
In many wiring situations, its not
practical or possible to go around the
obstacle because of its three-dimen-
sional qualities. Installation can
become a nightmare. But if the P&E
sources could wirelessly power the
loads, then the whole installation pro-
cess becomes relatively simple.
Metallic objects could potentially
obstruct wireless transfer as well. This
possibility can be mitigated by using
relays where power can be moved in
two or more stages, by using a relay-
ing system to circumvent obstruc-
tions. Similarly, if we intend to reshuf-
fle any existing source or load, a
wireless power transfer makes the job
much easier.
Another challenge is wiring several
variants of a military or commercial
vehicle. Variants come with different
equipment packages and configura-
tions depending on mission or pur-
pose. The number of sources, loads
and placements could be different for
each one. If the power transfer can be
done wirelessly, power relays can eas-
ily accommodate new P&E source and
equipment placements in variants,
avoiding expensive redesign of the
power network. In this way, wireless
power transfer can enhance sustain-
ability throughout all phases of a vehi-
cles life cycle, especially usage and
In some cases, connectorless power can
be materialized in the form of a regular
power transformer. However, there is
an air gap where the power crosses
wirelessly from one side to the other.
This is an example of inductive power
transfer. Depending on the power level
involved and the distance through
which power must be transferred, the
core can be made of a specific magnetic
material, as illustrated in Figure 2.
Using electromagnetic theory and
physics, scientists have shown that the
efficiency of power transfer and voltage
at the load end depends on the fre-
quency of the AC source (correspond-
ing to some wavelength), air-gap dis-
tance, core material used and size
(diameter) of the coils involved. If the
core magnetic material of the core is
completely eliminated (such as using
air core), this constitutes a completely
wireless transmission without any
(solid) material medium in between. It
should be noted that under certain cir-
cumstances, the AC-DC conversion
stage before the load can be totally
eliminated in cases when the load itself
is operated with AC frequency, which
can come directly from the receiver.
The amount of power transfer between
the transmitter and receiver depends
on two factors:
Coupling, which depends on the dis-
tance between the coils, size of the coil,
their alignment, and the material
medium involved in coupling the coils.
Quality factor of the networks (electri-
cal circuits) between the source to the
transmitter and the receiver to the
load. This quality factor is frequency
dependent and can be significantly
controlled by changing the parameters
(by using capacitors) in the tuning net-
works at both the transmitter and
receiver ends. This amounts to imped-
ance matching between the transmitter
and receiver.
Figure 1
If researchers use a particular fre-
quency, its possible to maximize the
efficiency by changing the tuning net-
work parameters. Under such condi-
tions the system is said to be in reso-
nance the transmitting and
receiving sides are able to maximize
the efficiency and power transfer for a
given source power.
Not much can be gained by merely
tuning the circuits, especially if the
coils are poorly coupled through severe
misalignment. By tuning the circuit,
you can maximize the amount of
power, which itself can be low if the
coupling is poor. Ultimately, the
designer must choose the optimal coil
size and correct frequency. Both of
these quantities depend on the distance
of power transfer and the amount of
power transferred. To maximize the
efficiency for a given coil dimension,
one can change the frequency and tun-
ing capacitor value.
As noted earlier, in both the inductive
and radiative methods, the power
drops quickly with distance and is
related to the wavelength correspond-
ing to the particular frequency and
source size. For shorter distances, it
may be more practical to use the
inductive method. As distances
increase, the inductive method
becomes less viable for wireless power
transmission, due to the size of devices
involved. For longer distances, meth-
ods such as microwave or laser-based
transmission might be used.
Microwave power can penetrate
through non-metallic materials and
some other types. For laser-based sys-
tems, the operator needs a direct line of
sight for the power to reach its destina-
tion. Both microwave and laser-based
systems have been used to power
unmanned vehicles like robots and
small airplanes.
Wireless charging can enhance sur-
vivability. Its safer for the operator in
a larger ground vehicle to drive near a
robot to recharge it or replace a bat-
tery without leaving his vehicle. Also,
inductive technology is more benign
for a human operator. Because micro-
wave and laser-based methods can
pose risks, designers should aim for
less electromagnetic compatibility
(EMC)-related noise and signature,
which can adversely affect combat
operations. For higher power ranges,
engineers must account for any possi-
ble health hazards, regardless of the
technology used.
To achieve the goal of wireless electrical
power system development for military
applications, research in the following
areas will be necessary:
Develop mathematical and comput-
er-based models for wireless power
systems using microwaves and lasers,
and study the feasibility through elec-
tromagnetic field analysis software, if
Study the antenna and receiver sys-
tems through models to demonstrate
feasibility, and combine this with the
model of the vehicular load systems.
Study and evaluate the effect of elec-
tro-magnetic interference and/or
other signatures.
Study the effects of potential health
The particular technology to be used
is dependent on distance, cost and size
of the overall system, including the
cost of additional items for mitigating
EMC-related issues. But because of
often hazardous and harsh conditions
that Soldiers and their ground vehicles
face, wireless power transfer is a way
to ease burdens and maintain our
forces technological edge.
Editors Note:
The SBIR report submitted by
CornerTurn LLC to the U.S. Army
government SBIR contract, is grate-
fully acknowledged, and was used for
some of the items included in this
M. Abul Masrur, Ph.D., leads
research projects with the U.S.
viously worked at the Scientific
Research Labs for Ford Motor
Co., and brings more than 30
years of experience from the
industry and government.
Masrur is a Fellow of the
Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers (IEEE),
and has more than 90 publica-
tions 60 of which are in public
domain journals/conferences.
He holds eight U.S. and two for-
eign patents. He earned his
Ph.D. in electrical engineering
from Texas A&M University.
Figure 2
DC to AC
AC to DC
The Blast Test Hub
Vehicle incidents in war zones are a whole different science than
conventional crash studies. To examine and reduce potential injuries,
the military turns to the Occupant Protection Lab.
By TSgt. Dan Heaton, 127th Wing Public Affairs Office
test lab at Selfridge Air
National Guard Base (SANGB)
in Harrison Township, MI,
helps keep Soldiers safe on the road.
At the Occupant Protection Lab
(OPL), a U.S. Army Tank Automotive
Research, Development and
Engineering Center (TARDEC)
Ground System Survivability labora-
tory component, Army civilian engi-
neers and technicians conduct
exhaustive testing on different types
of seats that could potentially end up
in a variety of Army tactical vehicles.
OPL associates work closely with their
TARDEC colleagues at the Detroit
Arsenal in Warren, MI, in the joint
military facilities at SANGB, where
technicians go about their business a
few hundred yards away from military
aircraft that routinely take off and
land at the air base.
When the Army considers making
changes to vehicle interiors, OPL engi-
neers can conduct a variety of tests
that simulate how a vehicles occu-
pants are likely to be affected in a
crash, explosion or rollover. A number
of crash-test facilities exist in the
automotive industry in and around
the Detroit area, but the Armys lab at
Selfridge is among the few and per-
haps the only one that tests the
impacts caused by bomb blasts target-
ing a vehicle.
We do testing on a variety of com-
mercial options available for use in
Army or other military applications,
said OPL Lab Manager Chris Felczak.
We have some specialized concerns,
OPL Lab Manager Chris Felczak adjusts a test dummy in a lab impact simulator at SANGB. The lab creates various
scenarios to test different types of seats to help keep Soldiers safe inside different types of tactical vehicles. (U.S.
Air National Guard (ANG) photo by Brittani Baisden.)
obviously, because of the environment
that some of our vehicles work in, but
it certainly does benefit us to be here
in the Detroit area, where all of the
automotive people are clustered.
In addition to testing seats and vehicle
occupant compartments, the lab also
conducts testing on the survivability
of incident recorders similar to the
familiar black boxes found on air-
liners that are carried in many mil-
itary vehicles today.
The OPL already contains the Head
Impact Protection (HIP) Laboratory,
which evaluates vehicle energy-atten-
uating technologies for performance
during head impacts in blasts and
crashes, and the Sub-System Drop
Tower device, which simulates the
effects of underbody blast events.
TARDEC now intends to add a major
piece of equipment the Crew
Compartment Underbody Blast
Simulator (CCUBS), a testing device
that will accommodate up to four test
dummies in a vehicles occupant area.
CCUBS will allow technicians to place
the dummies in a configuration that
would mirror a squad of Soldiers seated
in the rear of an armored personnel
carrier, as an example, and then create
a number of impact scenarios to test
what happens to the dummies. The
new test equipment is expected to be
installed during the current fiscal year
[FY2014]. Once the CCUBS is installed,
it will likely be the only system in the
world that can conduct four-occupant
cabin testing in which simulated blasts
can occur from under the vehicle,
Felczak explained.
In addition to examining what hap-
pens to test manikins as a result of
the initial blast incident, the labs
engineers also examine how place-
ment of different equipment in the
vehicle can impact Soldier safety.
Were even looking at, if there is an
impact, will the driver bump into
another occupant? Is there a way to
minimize that? Felczak commented.
The OPL runs the tests and records
the data and then turns that
information over to Army and U.S.
Marine Corps ground vehicle pro-
gram managers, who then work with
industry to build the safest possible
vehicles for Soldiers and Marines.
Given ever-changing battlefield
threats, the Army is constantly
evolving its systems to meet these
emerging threats.
The Selfridge OPL is one of several
Army research facilities at the sub-
urban Detroit base, which also hosts
TARDECs Bridging Technology Lab
and Freshwater Treatment and Test
Facility. In addition to several other
TARDEC-related programs, the
Michigan Army National Guard also
f lies CH-47 Chinook helicopters at
the base, and is also home to U.S.
Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard,
Marine Corps, and Customs and
Border Protection units.
Felczak added that, while the Army
will keep seeking ways to improve
vehicle occupant safety, there is still
one simple way to greatly increase
survivability buckle up!
The best seat in the world is not going
to protect you if you arent strapped in
to it, Felczak concluded.
TSgt. Dan Heaton is a
photojournalist with the 127th
Wing, Michigan Air National
Guard, assigned to Selfridge Air
National Guard Base. In 2012,
TSgt. Heaton was named the Air
National Guards Print
Journalist of the Year. Off-duty,
TSgt. Heaton is the author of
Selfridge & Collins and
Forgotten Aviator, both
biographies of early military
pilots. He is currently at work on
his third book, tracing the
history of every fort and military
installation in Michigan since
French colonial times.
In this scenario, a test dummy faceplate is positioned on the end of a piston
poised to impact a hatch cover on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Lab technicians
conduct tests to determine how to best keep occupants safe in crashes,
explosions and other impact scenarios. (ANG photo by Brittani Baisden.)
Event Spotlights Impact
of Research Agreements
with Partners
TARDEC has entered into more than 300 Cooperative Research and Development
Agreements (CRADAs) with industry and academic partners to drive technology
advancement. The latest mutually beneficial agreement is a collaboration with
General Motors to study hydrogen fuel cells.
By accelerate Staff
ot every Cooperative Research and Development
Agreement (CRADA) generates a celebration with
a group of distinguished guests from Washington,
D.C., to the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research,
Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). But
after entering 327 CRADAs over a span of 20 years, it was
time to applaud the impact of these collaborations and the
technologies they have generated with the Michigan repre-
sentatives who helped nurture them.
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and U.S. Rep. Sander Levin
(D-MI) joined TARDEC Director Dr. Paul Rogers and
General Motors (GM) Executive Director of Global Fuel
Cell Activities Charlie Freese in a ribbon-cutting ceremony
recently in the Ground Systems Power and Energy
Laboratory (GSPEL) at the Detroit Arsenal. Thats where
GM and TARDEC will share three Fuel Cell Automated
Testing Systems to evaluate and demonstrate hydrogen fuel
cell technology. Sen. Levin emphasized the importance of
these two respected partners working
toward a common goal clean
All across the world, companies and
governments are hoping to build the
next Detroit the next interna-
tional center of innovation and mid-
dle-class prosperity, Levin stated.
This [agreement] is about assuring
that the next Detroit stays right here
in Michigan. This is a competition
we cannot afford to lose for the sake
of our troops, our economy, our
security and the environment.
Speakers at the Dec. 16 Fuel Cell
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony reflected
on the long-term impact of CRADAs,
which have aligned government, pri-
vate sector and academic partners to
optimize resources and accelerate
advancements for at least 20 years.
Levin actively supported the U.S.
Federal Technology Transfer Act of
1986 the law that established the
Federal Laboratory Consortium and
enabled federal labs to enter into
CRADAs and negotiate licenses for
patented inventions made in the lab.
Rogers pointed out that TARDEC has
entered into 327 CRADAs since its
first blanket agreement to work with
Big Three automakers in 1993, and
has 64 active agreements with indus-
try and academic sources today. This
agreement with GM offers the U.S.
Army a unique opportunity to collab-
orate with a phenomenal partner a
partner that is a world innovator in
automotive technologies, Rogers
stated. The laboratory is our meeting
place where we can bring the best and
brightest ideas from government and
industry to solve the hardest problems
the military faces.
These dual-use arrangements make
sense for the regions economy, plus
Levin believes we have an obligation
to pull together the best ideas and
brightest minds or we put ourselves at
a disadvantage.
Twenty years ago, an engineer here
told me, engineering is a contact
sport. Its not enough to share data
and information through technical
papers, conferences and word of
mouth, Levin related. Engineers are
hands-on folks. They want to bounce
ideas off each other. They need to
work next to each other to discuss
and debate the best approaches to
tough problems. Many of us have
been working to bring together play-
ers in this contact sport, here in
Southeast Michigan the most
important hub of vehicle innovation
on earth.
Hydrogen fuel cells are a dual-use
technology with benefits for both
partners. GM plans to use the
research results to build its portfolio
of alternative energy vehicles for the
automotive market. The automaker
began its Project Driveway demon-
stration in 2007, when it released a
fleet of 119 fuel-cell powered
Chevrolet Equinox vehicles on the
road. Those vehicles have collectively
driven nearly 3 million miles, saved
157,894 gallons of gasoline and
avoided more than $552,631 in fuel
costs, according to GM estimates in
Fall 2013.
In the military domain, engineers are
developing fuel cell technology to use
for auxiliary power units (APUs) that
reformulate Jet Propellant (JP)-8 fuels
into hydrogen, which can then be con-
verted into electricity. This conversion
process can provide quiet, efficient
onboard power for in-vehicle elec-
tronic systems or robots. TARDEC
engineers are working on a hydrogen
fuel cell demonstrator to assess its
readiness level for insertion in an
Abrams tank. The demonstrator con-
sists of two parts one section refor-
mulates the JP-8 fuel commonly used
in military vehicles into hydrogen,
and then the fuel cell stacks convert
the hydrogen into electric power.
TARDEC engineers say that conver-
sion would lead to a projected 33-per-
cent savings in fuel use (versus running
in-vehicle electronics off the main
engine) and provide quieter operation.
These fuel cell test stands are capable
of testing a 10-kilowatt system, which
is about one-tenth the size of a fuel-
cell system that goes into a car,
explained TARDEC Engineer Herbert
Dobbs. By testing a subscale system
like this, we can affordably experi-
ment with variations for the best per-
formance, durability, efficiency and
cost. It helps us understand the mili-
tary potential of fuel cell technology.
GMs Charlie Freese explained that
hydrogen fuel-cell technology has
already been propelled by joint
research. On a morning like today,
with single-digit temperatures, you
can turn the key in one of those vehi-
cles and it will start in the cold just
10 years ago, that was impossible.
Through CRADAs like this one, we
learn as partners how to advance
these important technologies.
be in effect until February
2016. Here are some
examples of other research
conducted under CRADAs:
Lithium-ion battery testing
Battery monitoring systems
Ultracapacitor testing
Ground vehicle survivability
Synthetic fuels
Materials for protective
Robotic appliqu kits for
Hybrid electric studies
Water purification
Advanced powertrain systems
Run-flat tire testing
Lightweight multi-material
obots, interactive booths and
technology displays provided
an opportunity for Soldiers and
Army civilians to connect with the
next generation of Soldiers, engineers
and scientists during the 13th annual
U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San
Antonio, TX.
Army Soldiers and personnel gathered
elite technologies in the Army Strong
Zone at the Alamodome, Jan. 3-4, to
provide visitors with a glimpse into
Army life. Key themes such as Strength
through Teamwork, Strength to Heal,
Strength on the Move and Strength
through Technology helped pull in
more than 5,000 visitors from across
the country to experience various
aspects of Army values and learn about
the many opportunities the Army has
to offer. Visitors to the 129,000-square-
foot interactive display area experi-
enced night vision, robotics, VEX
Robotics Competition, STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics) trailer, ballistic glass,
Army canine training shows and the
chance for look through the scope of
an Army sniper rifle.
U.S. Army Research, Development and
Engineering Command (RDECOM)
associates helped support U.S. Army
Marketing and Research Group
(AMRG) experts during bowl week by
providing technology demonstrations
for community outreach. A robust
technology presence in the Army
Strong Zone, supported by the U.S.
Army Tank Automotive Research,
Development and Engineering Center
(TARDEC), highlighted robotics capa-
bilities and the importance of engi-
neers, technicians and scientists.
The Army Strong Zone was successful
because visitors were able to recognize
that there is not only one side of the
Army, SGM Steven Robertson,
Program Executive Office Ground
All-American Bowl
Army Technologies
Visitors take the controls of a mini robot while Soldiers explain how this technology is used to keep them safer in the field.
(U.S. Army TARDEC photos by Amanda Dunford.)
By Amanda Dunford
Combat Systems explained. This
event allowed students to ask questions
and learn the range of opportunities
the Army has to offer.
Through title sponsorship, the All-
American Bowl program allowed
RDECOM and TARDEC to engage
scholars, athletes, teachers and stu-
dents about Army core values, unex-
pected opportunities for education,
training and skills, and the lifelong
foundation for success that service can
bring. The All-American Bowl pro-
gram provides the Army with the
unique opportunity to tell the Army
story and develop partnerships with
key stakeholders and influencers.
New this year, TARDEC supported a
VEX Robotics Competition featured in
the Strong Zone. On Jan. 4, students
from across the country competed in
an interactive competition using their
STEM skills to build their very own
robots. The Army is proud to show-
case the incredible talents of these win-
ning teams and all the students who
took part in this competition, said
COL John Keeter, Deputy Director,
AMRG, during the VEX awards cere-
mony. Science, technology, engineer-
ing and mathematics are critical, not
just to our Armys success, but to the
success of our nation. And we recog-
nize the importance of encouraging
STEM interest and excellence in
todays youth.
Visitors experienced aspects of the
Army life in four distinct displays:
Strength Through Teamwork The
Army displayed its diversity and
invited visitors to meet todays per-
sonnel from Drill Sergeants to
Special Forces Soldiers. The Army
Strong Zone featured elite teams
such as the Army Combatives
Program and K-9 unit.
Strength to Heal With more than
150 different career opportunities,
the Army offers more than any
other service. Members of the
renowned Forward Surgical Team
from the premier medical post at
Fort Sam Houston showed visitors
how they help save lives and dis-
played the Mobile Medical Hospital
and medical Stryker vehicle.
Strength on the Move Visitors
curious about Army Basic Training
tested their physical stamina and
discovered what it takes to be Army
Strong. Army Drill Sergeants
showed visitors how todays
Soldiers are trained to be more
agile and mobile, let them stroll
through the American Soldier
Adventure Van and allowed them
to jump in the cockpit of an Apache
Helicopter simulator.
Strength Through Technology
Soldiers need not just physical
strength, but also mental strength to
operate some of the most elite tech-
nologies in the world. RDECOM
associates and Soldiers displayed
technology and explained how it
helps keep the Army Strong.
Technology demonstrations ranged
from night vision to advanced robot-
ics to command-and-control multi-
touch enabled technologies.
Students check out the Fuel Efficient Demonstrator in the Army Strong Zone at
the All-American Bowl.
During the All-American Bowl, middle-school and high-school students
participated in the VEX Robotics Competition, a major STEM activity.
info in brief
30-Year Strategy
TARDEC Maps Vision to Army of 2040
TARDECs venture to craft its 30-Year
Strategy is founded on one essential
principle enduring value.
At the Secretary of the Armys
request, the U.S. Armys ground
systems organizations have adopted
30-year vehicle and equipment mod-
ernization strategies that provide a
roadmap of future capabilities across
the acquisition life cycle. TARDECs
30-Year Strategy establishes the long-
range model that will fill potential
capability gaps, explore future pro-
grams of record (PORs) and provide
engineering services that will support
Soldiers of today and tomorrow.
Three Value Streams (VS) serve as the
foundation for the 30-Year Strategy.
They provide the end-to-end process
TARDEC uses to deliver a variety of
products and services.
VS1: Shape Requirements for Future
Programs of Record focuses
on developing new concepts and
designs for the Future Force.
VS2: Develop New Capabilities for
Current Ground Systems focuses
on developing and integrating new
technologies and capabilities that
support existing PORs.
VS3: Provide Engineering Support
and Services focuses on providing
the overall best engineering service
and value to TARDEC partners
throughout vehicle life cycles.
Over the past 10 years, our core
investments have been primarily
focused on what is now known as VS2
developing capabilities for current
ground systems, explained TARDEC
Strategic Technology Planning (STP)
Team Leader Michael Rose. What
the 30-Year Strategy acknowledges
is our renewed commitment to VS1
and VS3, which emphasize the impor-
tance of developing new concepts for
the Future Force and supporting the
acquisition community with advanced
engineering service capabilities in
areas like systems engineering and
modeling and simulation.
Emerging from the Value Streams will
be system-level capabilities that enable
the Future Force to be adaptable,
flexible, smart and agile ensuring
continued dominance across the
spectrum of missions and future
battlefield environments.
The 30-Year Strategy is meant to
guide associates in a new way of
thinking about their role here, as part
of a larger organization rather than
as parts of an individual director-
ate, Rose continued. The strategy
also engages collaborative partners
to leverage resources and streamline
the process to deliver products and
services. We need to work as a uni-
fied whole with common long-range
objectives if we are truly going to be
the Armys leading ground system
Many of todays Soldiers regularly play
video games. The technology they
employ for entertainment may play a
vital role in the future of ground combat
vehicle design as U.S. Army engineers
explore the concept of Early Synthetic
Prototyping (ESP) and its ramifications.
ESP, a concept born at the Army Capa-
bilities Integration Center (ARCIC)
under the leadership of MG William
Hix and his team, is a process and tool-
set that would enable Soldiers to assess
emerging technologies
in virtual environments
to provide feedback
that would inform both
science and technology
research and, potentially,
Army doctrine.
Dr. Rob E. Smith at the
U.S. Army Tank Auto-
motive Research, Devel-
opment and Engineering
Center (TARDEC) in
Warren, MI, said ESP
may have long-term bene-
fits. Gaming isnt new to
the Army. What is unique
about Early Synthetic
Prototyping is the idea
of launching an ongoing
experiment and gaining
access to hundreds of
Soldiers feedback, he
explained. Imagine
a future development
process where Soldiers
co-develop vehicles that
optimize the combina-
tion of technologies and tactics, maybe
even before we invest S&T dollars in the
Smith said that a social component
would allow Soldiers to discuss what
worked for them, as well as borrow sug-
gestions from other Soldiers who have
played the game. If you combine the
idea of customizable vehicles with the
breakthroughs in rapid manufacturing
and computerized logistics, we can
develop mission-optimized vehicles,
Smith said. In fact, the technology
already exists to fly UAVs [unmanned
aerial vehicles] over an area and practice
a virtual fight scenario on the actual
scenario. Ultimately, the idea is to let Sol-
diers, engineers and acquisitions have a
dialog and develop a deep, shared vision.
If used as envisioned, ESP would gen-
erate cross-organizational discussions
that would lead to innovation in the
design process, as well as potential shifts
in Army doctrine as Soldiers discover
new and innovative ways to use and
field current and future technology.
There are a lot of people talking about
the idea that the U.S. will face techni-
cal parity in the future. The barrier of
entry to UAVs, computer technologies,
networks and high-effects munitions is
very low and commercially available,
Smith explained. The U.S. needs to
find a way to put technologies and tac-
tics together in a more lucid and rapid
manner to maintain a significant edge
over our adversaries. We need a process
Smith said that as ESP grows, it could
become an integral step in future sys-
tems engineering processes. If we can
better design a vehicle, and handle the
complexity involved with manufactur-
ing custom platforms, then why couldnt
we build vehicles that are custom-tuned
to the specific mission?
The project has an aggressive schedule
that aims to have Soldiers participating
in ESP at battle labs and simulation cen-
ters as early as June 2014.
Not Just a Game: Virtual Domain
Influences Vehicle Design
Early Synthetic Prototyping would allow Soldiers to
explore emerging technologies in virtual
Like a fighter going the distance, the
High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled
Vehicle (HMMWV) keeps answering
the bell when the battles begin.
During their first two decades of
service, HMMWVs did not require
armor protection. Asymmetrical war-
fare in Iraq and Afghanistan changed
that, and Army engineers developed
bolt-on armor kits to increase crew
Now, TARDEC engineers have
responded to another user request
to identify potential future survivabil-
ity upgrades for the HMMWV fleet,
keeping Soldiers safer in the field, and
to ensure design changes would be
operationally feasible. They designed
a prototype solution for HMMWVs
using aluminum-based armor and
a triple-V hull underneath to build
stronger layers of protection against
blasts and small arms fire.
This armor is designed for the crew
to survive a blast, TARDEC Center
for Systems
Solutions, John J.
Schmitz stated.
The aluminum
armor solution
proved to be the
key because you
can only load so
much weight on
chassis. The prototype vehicle is the
same weight but with significantly
increased survivability.
The Armys current priority for the
ground fleet is a successful Joint Light
Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program,
which will fill a critical capability
gap in protected mobility between
the MRAP and HMMWV fleets and
dramatically improve our balance of
payload, performance and protec-
tion. Because the Army will continue
using HMMWVs for years, it has also
been preparing for any contingencies
that would require urgent improve-
ments to that fleets survivability and
Our mission is to ensure that the
HMMWV fleet remains viable for
the next three decades, commented
Steve Rienstra, Product Director Light
Tactical Vehicles (PD LTV).
Engineers in TARDECs Ground
Systems Engineering Assessment and
Assurance group performed modeling
and simulation research to confirm
the Blast Cab teams design and struc-
tural changes. Also, engineers in the
Occupant Protection Laboratory at
Selfridge Air National Guard Base
conducted Sub-System Drop Tower
tests to validate the seats, which
are hinged to partially absorb blast
energy. The cab flooring includes a
crush zone area under passengers feet
to add protection near the blast point.
Live blast tests at Aberdeen Proving
Ground, MD, last fall indicated
the TARDEC design substantially
improves survivability and that future
investments could be examined.
Other survivability factors include
the chassis height engineers raised
it to provide more stand-off margin
under the vehicle to better mitigate a
blast. The triple-V hull design chan-
nels blast energy away from the crew
compartment and limits how far
the vehicle can be thrown in the air.
Both effects should reduce the risk of
Soldier casualties.
Our partners efforts help to not
only baseline vehicle capabilities,
but also validate the possibility of
meeting blast objectives for MECV
[Modernized Expanded Capacity
Vehicle]-like requirements. These
results provide government-owned
designs that are scalable and action-
able solutions, stated Clifton Ellis,
Engineering Chief at Product
Manager Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV).
info in brief
Team Aims to Improve
HMMWV Blast Protection
Ask the Expert
TARDEC Engineer David Gunter explains how
mobility research is changing
Q: With all-terrain vehicles play-
ing a larger role in Army logistics,
how does TARDEC develop the best
possible off-road vehicle mobility
A: Validating mobility has always
involved live testing, and lots of it.
The only way to determine tractive
effort has been to drive real vehicles
over rocks, bumps, sand and mud,
and analyze the results after the
vehicle gets stuck or a part fails.
TARDEC engineers have launched
a program to modernize the way we
perform mobility analysis, employ-
ing computational tools that allow
less reliance on live testing. The
new tools will help save on costs,
improve accuracy and move faster
toward the ultimate purpose
keeping vehicles from getting immo-
bilized in off-road situations.
Metrics used to measure mobility
include five factors:
Cone Index the minimum soil
strength over which the vehicle
must be mobile.
Ride quality the maximum
speed over a rough course
during which the driver or occu-
pants do not exceed a human
vibration tolerance criteria due
to vertical acceleration.
Tractive effort to weight a
ratio of the traction force
developed by the vehicle applied
to the ground-to-vehicle weight.
Top speed maximum speed the
vehicle can achieve.
Speed on grade minimum speed
the vehicle must maintain on a
longitudinal sloped surface.
We have modeling and simulation
(M&S) tools to predict vehicle perfor-
mance for these metrics primarily
commercial tools used by both the
military and auto industry. However,
because soft-soil mobility mainly con-
sists of military and agricultural mar-
kets, commercial tools arent available.
We still use a model originally devel-
oped in the 1960s by TARDEC and
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development
Center (USACE-ERDC) to predict
soft-soil mobility.
This models databases represent
several decades of Army vehicle test
results. They dont account for many
of todays military vehicle technol-
ogies, such as active suspension,
electronic stability control, antilock
brake systems or even radial tires.
While programmers made changes to
address some deficiencies, the model
could use a major refresh to account
for todays advanced suspension
The most cost-effective method of
testing vehicle mobility today is high
performance computing (HPC) and
M&S. The Computational Research
for Engineering and Science Ground
Vehicles (CRES-GV) Project is an
ongoing Department of Defense
(DOD) HPC Modernization Program
project involving TARDEC and
USACE-ERDC. The goal is to address
the ground vehicle communitys gaps
and needs through M&S. This under-
taking includes the development of an
end-to-end mobility server that uses
physics-based models to make soft-
soil predictions for todays vehicles.
This ambitious project will use
high-fidelity track-to-soil and tire-
to-soil interface models, propulsion
models for drivetrain performance,
high-fidelity multi-body dynamics
models for vehicle dynamics, com-
putational fluid dynamics models
for powertrain cooling and vehicle
fording, and will include new updated
predictions, such as urban assault
mobility (traversing rubble piles) and
urban maneuverability (steering in
confined city streets).
CRES-GV is in year one of a five-
year program and includes other
tools development, but the mobility
prediction tool is ongoing because it
clearly fills the needs of the Army and
Dave Gunter is Acting Deputy
Associate Director for Analytics at
The 600-volt Power System provides enhanced network
capability and situational awareness over the 28-volt system
employed on the M109A6 Paladin. The generator can produce
70 kilowatts (kW) of power three times more capability than
the Paladin produces. With this added capability, PIM accepts
the Armys current and future networks and meets the need to
maintain network capability with the forces it supports.
Five Things You Should Know About
The Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) and its teammate, the
Carrier Ammunition Tracked (CAT) vehicle, form the new
Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) family of vehicles
a modernized and re-engineered tandem of battlefield
assets that provide long-range fire support to Brigade
Combat Teams (BCTs). With its new pivot steer capability
and ability to fire up to four rounds per minute from its
155mm cannon (aided by a precise electric loading
system), SPH offers shoot and scoot effectiveness when
backing up Infantry, Strykers, Bradley Fighting Vehicles
(BFVs) and Abrams tanks. Limited production is
scheduled to begin in 2014.
SPH also utilizes common suspension and track components
with BFVs to minimize the logistics footprint and unique
parts. The upgraded suspension and track components
address the No. 1 operation and sustainment maintenance
issue on the currently fielded Paladin systems.
The newly designed upgraded chassis allows for growth
potential to accept future requirements and technology
insertions with SWaP (size, weight and power) as the critical
enabler. At 68,500 lbs, the currently fielded M109A6 Paladin
already exceeds its design weight. The new PIM, at 84,000
lbs, offers potential weight growth of up to 110,000 lbs.
L e a d I n n o v a t e I n t e g r a t e De l i v e r
The PIM 675 hp powertrain delivers increased mobility,
providing the ability to maintain the tempo of the
supported force, Armored BCT, and support Full
Spectrum Operations (FSO). The heavyweight and lower
440 hp powertrain of the current M109 FOV prevents it
from meeting this need. SPH shares its powertrain with
the BFV, minimizing the logistics footprint, with fewer
unique components.
PIM provides increased force protection and survivability a
scalable system that allows the commander to provide full
spectrum indirect fire support to any Army BCT formation.
Crews can accomplish the mission from a fixed firing position
or hasty position on the move. Protection upgrades include a
new chassis, increased ground clearance, improved crew
seating, added Chief of Section protection and increased hull
thickness. PIM can also accept modular add-on armor kits
including underbelly protection.
Theres more TARDEC news
and info online:
TARDECs robotics engineers displayed the possibilities of unmanned
tactical vehicles in the Autonomous Mobility Appliqu System (AMAS)
Capabilities Advancement Demonstration at Fort Hood, Texas,
recently. Driverless vehicles navigate around traffic, pedestrians and
obstacles in the demonstration, which can be viewed on YouTube here:
Check our Facebook page for Energy Wednesday the day we high-
light stories on the Armys quest for more energy-efficient systems
for its vehicle fleets and on its installations. On Facebook, search for
On Facebook at U.S. Army TARDEC
On Twitter at TARDEC_PAO
Find enhanced content in the electronic edition of
accelerate Magazine:
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